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Best goal of 2012: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Papiss Cisse, Neymar, who will win?

Who scored the best goal of 2012 Drogba, Neymar and Ibrahimovic are all in with a shout… here are Sportsmail's top 10



14:40 GMT, 31 December 2012

Compiling a list of the greatest goals of the year is always tricky. It’s difficult to judge whether a magnificent dribble leading to a solo goal is better than a searing volley from 30 yards out.

But come the end of the year it’s time to decide which strikes make the cut and which must fall by the wayside. This collection has been chopped and changed a-plenty, but this is what we’re sticking with.

Only two of FIFA’s three Puskas award short-listed goals are present and correct – apologies and an honourable mention to Radamel Falcao.

We only have space for 10 goals on this list but if you believe other strikes deserve to be recognised then have your say in the comment section below.

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

Whose was the best 2012 saw some spectacular and brilliant goals and Sportsmail lists the top 10

10. Peter Crouch (STOKE v Man City)

People love to stick the boot in on Stoke because of their 'dour' brand of football. But they have offered some magic moments too during their time in the top flight.

Earlier this week we saw Cameron Jerome score an absolute rocket against Southampton. And in March Peter Crouch dealt Manchester City a setback in the title race.

We know now that it didn't stop them winning the Premier League, but at the time this wondergoal gave Man United the chance to open up a three point lead at the top.

Crouch nodded Asmir Begovich's long punt to Jermain Pennant who nodded it back and then the giant striker teed himself up and lashed in a stunning volley from an awkward angle past Joe Hart.

9. Simon Cox (NOTTINGHAM FOREST v Birmingham)

In the 1998 World Cup quarter-final clash between Holland and Argentina, Dennis Bergkamp scored a delightful goal, controlling a long pass expertly and finishing with aplomb.

Nottingham Forest and Ireland striker Simon Cox evoked that spirit against Birmingham in the Championship. Yes, the stage was smaller but the skill was no less admirable.

Cox took one touch to kill Lewis McGugan's long ball and then adjusted instantly to delicately flick it over the helpless Jack Butland.

8. Rodrigo Palacio (GENOA v Lazio)

Did he mean it That was the question everybody was asking when Rodrigo Palacio, now of Inter, scored this gem.

The Genoa striker's cute backflick from this corner floated over the surprised Lazio keeper and sank into the net.

Some say it was luck, others judgement. Sportsmail falls in the latter camp and will give the Argentina hitman the credit this effort deserves.

7. Gaston Mealla (NACIONAL POTOSI v The Strongest)

Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita made it famous at Wembley in 1995. But keeping the scorpion kick revival movement going in 2012 was Nacional Potosi striker Gaston Mealla. (See also THIS hilarious scorpion kick own goal for last year's effort).

During a Bolivian league match between his side and The Strongest, an under-hit dink forward was set to land behind the striker on the edge of the box. But Mealla cared not for his team-mate's mistake.

His stupendous athleticism salvaged the situation and helped create a bizarre and beautiful goal.

6. Neymar (SANTOS v Internacional)

Santos' much sought-after Brazilian demonstrated just why Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all are willing to splash the cash on him with this bewitching solo goal against Internacional.

He picked the ball up in his own half surged at 100 miles-per-hour past, round and through anybody who stood in his way, before nudging the ball home.

Note – Hatem Ben Arfa's effort in the FA Cup against Blackburn was a contender for the list, but the Newcastle man just missed out to this. A tough call to make.


5. Didier Drogba (Bayern Munich v CHELSEA)

Picture the scene. Chelsea are 1-0 down in the Allianz Arena and the stadium is bouncing. Bayern Munich are on the cusp of winning the Champions League trophy on their own turf.

With two minutes to go Juan Mata floats in a corner from the right. Everything seems to stand still as the ball drops in towards the near post. Everything that is, except Didier Drogba.

The Chelsea striker leaps for the ball and sends a venomous header in at the near post in front of the Blue corner of the stadium. To get so much power into the ball from such an awkward position makes this one of the finest headers of all time – before you even forgetting the circumstances.

An honourable mention goes to Ramires, Drogba's team-mate whose superbly weighted lob against Barcelona in the semi-final earned the Blues passage to Munich.

4. Philippe Mexes (AC MILAN v Anderlecht)

Philippe Mexes is supposed to be a defender. So how on earth did this happen

AC Milan were beating Anderlecht 1-0 in the Champions League when the centre-back doubled the lead with something a little bit special.

The Frenchman chested Riccardo Montolivio's ball away from goal and then flipped it accurately into the top corner with a precisely executed overhead-kick.

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani waxed lyrical about the strike, and said: 'If Leo Messi had scored that, every news channel around the world would show it and he'd have been made a saint tonight!'

He's probably right.

3. Miroslav Stoch (FENERBAHCE v Genclerbirligi)

He's not the biggest name on the list, but he scored one of the finest goals.

Bringing to mind Zinedine Zidane's Champions League final volley and Paul Scholes' effort against Aston Villa, Fenerbahce winger Miroslav Stoch made Turkish league opponents Genclerbirligi pay.

Stoch stayed cool to pull the trigger on a 25-yard volley which swerved away from the goalkeeper and zipped in to the top corner.

This goal has been nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, along with Neymar's effort. At the Ballon d'Or ceremony on January 7 the winner will be revealed.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN v England)

This is certainly the most famous goal of 2012.

Yes, it's Zlatan Ibrahimovic's simply ridiculous propeller kick against England, which also happened to be his fourth goal of the game.

He defied gravity as he tossed his 6ft 4 frame into the sky with abandon, to caress the ball sweetly into the net.

There's an arguement to be made that Mexes' effort was trickier because he had a goalkeeper to beat – here Hart is in no-man's land – but this is from further out and far more awkward to hit.

The Swedish superstar had, until this friendly which his side won 4-2, previously been maligned by a fair few people on British soil, who thought he was over-rated and arrogant (OK, so the last part is still true).

This incredible goal was the cherry on the cake which he gleefully stuffed down the gaping mouths of his detractors.

1 Papiss Cisse (Chelsea v NEWCASTLE)

On a cold spring evening in May, Papiss Cisse warmed the cockles of Newcastle's travelling fans and delighted football fans the world over with this simply stupendous effort.

With one momentous swing of his right boot, he destroyed Chelsea's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League through a top four finish and secured himself a place in every 'Greatest Goals' DVD release between now and the end of time.

Every time you watch his outrageous volley, which spins past the thoroughly bewildered Petr Cech, it just gets better and better.

Perhaps the previously lethal Senegal striker decided he could never top this because it seems like he's stopped trying this season. You could forgive him, because this would be the highlight of anybody's career.

French Grand Prix could return in 2013, says Bernie Ecclestone

Ecclestone: We're ready to sign French Grand Prix deal



12:35 GMT, 28 October 2012

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has stated the French Grand Prix could be back on the calendar as early as next year.

France, the birthplace of the sport, last held a race in 2008, but a lack of money and a failure to improve Magny Cours saw it fall by the wayside.

However, Ecclestone is ready to do a deal that would see the race up and running in 2013 as a replacement for the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey that has had to be delayed by a year due to construction woes.

Hats on: Ecclestone claims the French Grand Prix could return next season

Hats on: Ecclestone claims the French Grand Prix could return next season

After being presented with a painting and a book by Indian Grand Prix promoters to celebrate his 82nd birthday today and asked whether there was a chance of the French GP returning, he replied: 'As far as I'm concerned, yes.

'I'm hoping something can be done in a couple of weeks. We're ready to sign. We have a pen and we're ready to sign the contract.

'Which circuit they are going to use is one thing, and then who is going to pay for it, that's the bottom line.

'But we can do it next year. If they are ready then we can slot it in the calendar.'

Flying the flag: Magny-Cours could play host to the French Grand Prix

Flying the flag: Magny-Cours could play host to the French Grand Prix

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Other than Magny Cours, there is a chance the race could be held at Paul Ricard, which last staged a GP in 1990.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, has also confirmed the prospect of a cost cap being introduced from 2014, with the budget being set at 250million US dollars (155milllion).

Ecclestone added: 'We're looking at the right way to put it in. 'But I hate this word “cut”, just like that. It's not the way to go.

'What we are trying to do is reduce the necessity to spend money to be competitive so somebody can come into Formula One with a sensible budget and be competitive, not having to spend a fortune.

'I am talking about a maximum spend of everything within a Formula One team, driver salaries and whatever, with the exception of marketing.

'Once we have the principle agreed then we can reduce that amount.'

Jenson Button: McLaren can turn it around

We can turn it around, insists Button ahead of Canadian GP



07:30 GMT, 8 June 2012

Jenson Button has every confidence the tide will turn and he will again be 'scoring good points' as he attempts to prevent his title challenge falling by the wayside.

Button has floundered of late, collecting a mere two points from his last three races to fall 31 behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the championship standings.

It means the pressure is on the 32-year-old and his McLaren team to produce in this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, a race in which he conjured arguably his greatest victory 12 months ago.

On the Button: The McLaren star insists the British team will bounce back

On the Button: The McLaren star insists the British team will bounce back

Phil Duncan F1 blog

A failure to understand the Pirelli tyres has proved his undoing, notably in qualifying in the last two races in Spain and Monaco. That has resulted in lowly grid slots, leaving Button with his back up against a wall before the race has started.

'The last three races have been a little more difficult, and some of it has been (because of) Saturday afternoon (qualifying), but not all of it,' said Button.

'When you put yourself in a difficult position in qualifying you can either get unlucky or lucky at turn one, especially around a place like Monaco, and obviously we got very unlucky.

'It just hasn't really fallen into place.

Road to recovery: Button is 31 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso

Road to recovery: Button is 31 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso

'It's also a very competitive season in F1 and I think if you do have a mistake or something goes wrong where you don't have luck on your side you can be outside the points, or scoring small points.

'In previous years that would be a shock really, to be scoring two or three points in a grand prix when you're driving for McLaren, but this season is very different.

'If you look at the history in the sport, there are big teams, but this season you wouldn't pick out McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull as being the big teams in the sport.

'It's massively competitive, and it just hasn't gone my way and the team's way over the last few races, but that will turn round and we will be back scoring good points.'

Button is aware he needs to put in a performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to remain firmly amongst the title challengers.

Aware he cannot afford another wretched weekend, Button said: 'In the last three races I've retired twice and scored two points in the other. They haven't been my finest weekends.

'So yes, I need to score some good points this weekend to get it back on track.

'We all come here hoping for a victory, aiming for a victory, but as we've seen for most of the season, just being consistently in double figures in terms of points is key to fighting at the front this year.

'So I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we've got to play with.'

Sir Alex Ferguson"s successor at Manchester United

Fergie at 70: Who can fill the boots of the most successful manager ever

As Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 70th birthday he shows no outward sign of being weighed down by the demands of managing Manchester United.

But eventually there has to be a change at the top.

Here, Sportsmail looks at the men who might be in the frame when Ferguson finally vacates the United hot seat.

Master: Sir Alex Ferguson shows no sign of slowing down at Manchester United

Master: Sir Alex Ferguson shows no sign of slowing down at Manchester United


The Real Madrid boss is the clear favourite despite his repeated brushes with authority and a lukewarm endorsement from United legend Sir Bobby Charlton. The former Chelsea manager is the one man guaranteed not to be overwhelmed by taking on the challenge of following Ferguson and is open about his desire to take on another job in the Premier League.

Return to England Jose Mourinho wants to manage in the Premier League

Return to England Jose Mourinho wants to manage in the Premier League


A persistent contender, who shares Ferguson”s Scottish working-class roots. Moyes has plenty of admirers at Old Trafford due to the work he has done at Everton and his preference for the passing style United favour. Has no real experience at the very highest level, though.

Time for a big job David Moyes has continually impressed at Everton

Time for a big job David Moyes has continually impressed at Everton


A host of former United players have been linked with the job in the past yet all have fallen by the wayside. The latest is Solskjaer, who has made a successful start to his managerial career at Molde. He lacks experience, though, and could benefit from Ferguson remaining at the helm for some time yet.

Young gun: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer (left) could be groomed as Fergie

Young gun: Ole Gunnar Solksjaer (left) could be groomed as Fergie”s successor


The Spaniard has an outstanding record at Barcelona, where he has made the most of a group of brilliant players to create possibly the best club side ever. Has never had to build a team from scratch, though, and has never managed in England, yet he is sure to be considered if United thought they could get him.

Held in high esteem: Pep Guardiola has been a phenomenal success at Barcelona

Held in high esteem: Pep Guardiola has been a phenomenal success at Barcelona


The current France manager had a brief stint with the Red Devils at the end of his career, so knows the club well. Caught the eye as manager of Bordeaux, where he won the French league title, then stabilised a France team that collapsed into chaos at the last World Cup.

French fancy: Laurent Blanc played for United and could return as manager

French fancy: Laurent Blanc played for United and could return as manager