F365's Top Ten Long-Range Goals

After Wayne Rooney's strike against West Ham, Daniel Storey chooses his top ten longe-range goals, each with a video. There are some bloody belters...

Last Updated: 25/03/14 at 09:40 Post Comment

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10) Jason Cundy (Spurs v Ipswich, 1992)
After umming and ahhing for a while over including Jason Cundy or Maynor Figueroa as No. 10 on this list, former Spurs defender Cundy gets the nod through the bizarre nature of his goal against Ipswich during the first ever Premier League season.

After the ball was cleared to him around 45 yards from goal, Cundy half-slipped as he aimed his kick, sending the ball looping high into the air and over the head of Craig Forrest. It's fair to say that both players and coaches were a touch surprised by the finish.

9) Nawaf Al Abed (Al-Hilal v Al Shoalah, 2009)
Not a household name, I'll grant you, but a record holder. Al Abed was playing for Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal against Al Shoalah in the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Cup (catchy name) when he scored what is considered to be the fastest goal in footballing history.

Not too much therefore to say on the actual goal, other than that the forward smashes it over the head of an unsuspecting goalkeeper directly from kick-off, and that the match was actually declared invalid due to the presence of over-age players.

Still, we're giving him it. Hands up if you've played Sunday League and not seen some chancer attempt something similar?

8) Rene Steer (St Neots Town v Canvey Island, 2013)
Now listen here for a moment. You may hear all sorts of cynicism about the magic of the FA Cup being suffocated in a cloud of £8 hot dogs and weakened teams, but goals such as this more than make up for it all.

Step forward Rene Steer of St Neots Town, playing in a replay of the second qualifying round against Canvey Island earlier this season. After a corner was cleared, the former Arsenal trainee stepped forward from left-back and shellacked a strike at goal.

If there was any doubt about the goal's greatness, the ball then rebounds off the underside of the bar before going in. As anyone worth their footballing salt knows, that makes a goal at least three times more enjoyable.

7) Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors v Velez Sarsfield, 2009)
In an effort to make this countdown a little more than just ten goalkeepers being lobbed from huge distances, I've hunted for variety - vive la difference!

If it's difference you want, Martin Palermo's goal from 40 yards against Velez Sarsfield has it in bucketloads. It might not be the longest-range goal of all time, but it must surely be the longest-range header?

When a clearance from the goalkeeper came flying at head height to the Argentina international, Palermo aimed a diving header at the ball, sending it into the empty net to score the winner. Cue La Bombanera crowd going crazy and the player running like a madman, twirling his short around his head.

6) Mike Hanke (Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen, 2004)
There is little more enjoyable for the neutral than seeing pride coming before a spectacular fall, and April 2004 brought perhaps football's greatest example of the breed.

Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper and penalty-taker Hans-Jorg Butt rather enjoyed giving his side a 3-1 lead at Schalke, and we can tell that by the way he dallied around in celebration with his teammates.

Ten seconds later, a glorious thing had happened. Butt, with hands still aloft in celebration as he jogged casually towards his goal, had been forced to pick the ball out of his own net, lobbed by the quick-thinking Mike Hanke. The shortest ever time between two goals? Quite probably.

5) Burnel Okana-Stazi (FC Stal Alchevsk v FC Nikolaev, 2012)
Not a goal from the biggest of occasions, but when a free-kick gets hit with such power from such distance, no one really cares - just sit back and watch the splendour.

Burnel Okana-Stazi was playing for FC Stal Alchevsk in the Ukranian second tier when he pulled rank and took a free-kick from over 40 yards out. Staggering his run-up in the style made famous by Roberto Carlos, the DR Congo international lashed the ball into the top left-hand corner. The FC Nikolaev goalkeeper is in a different postcode as the ball whistles past him.

Ten years ago you just wouldn't have seen footage from games such as these, and for that alone we should be grateful to Tim Berners-Lee.

4) Xabi Alonso (Liverpool v Newcastle, 2006)
We've had our time with the ridiculous, now onto the sublime, starting with Xabi Alonso's opportunistic finish against Newcastle in 2006.

"You have to feel sorry for Steve Harper there," is the plea of the commentator but to that we say no. With their protection at set-pieces and permission to keep refreshing drinks and snacks in their goals, goalkeepers have it far too easy, so to watch Harper flail on the floor like a man trying to swim in honey can only be a joyful thing.

The goal wasn't even a fluke - Alonso had done the same thing against Luton in the FA Cup just eight months earlier. With his other foot.

3) David Beckham (Manchester United v Wimbledon, 1996)
David Beckham was just 21 years old on the first day of the 1996/97 Premier League season. He had made only 37 top-flight appearances for United, and scored 11 career goals. Given the No. 10 shirt, previously worn by Mark Hughes, the precocious talent repaid such faith when, with the score at 2-0, he sent the ball over Neil Sullivan from his own half.

Since then, Beckham has turned himself into a global megastar. He has married a pop star, created a brand and persona more famous than perhaps any other individual alive today. He has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan, also captaining his country and almost single-handedly increased the attraction and fortunes of the game in America. And still we talk about that goal.

There are two players with Premier League appearances that weren't even alive when it was scored. How old does that make you feel?

2) Bernd Schuster (Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt, 1994)
A goal from the former Real Madrid (and current Malaga) manager that was named Bundesliga Goal of the Decade for the 1990s, Schuster may have been 34 when he joined Bayer Leverkusen, but he remained a class act after spells with Real Madrid, Atletico and Barcelona. This is the only foreigner to ever play for Spain's big three (if Twitter is to be trusted). That season, Schuster was named first, second and third in the Bundesliga Goal of the Season, with this the best of the bunch.

Picking up the ball in midfield, the German international (given an astonishingly harsh 21 caps) launched the ball over the Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper with a nonchalance typified by a man who clearly spends so much of his time sculpting that fine blonde moustache. He looks like a cross between Owen Wilson and Hulk Hogan, and his nickname is the Blonde Angel. Which impresses me more than it should.

1) Clarence Seedorf (Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid, 1997)
By a distance the best on the list. It's a goal by a great of the modern game, and it came in the Madrid derby. It's from lob territory, but is actually no such thing, instead a filthy, gorgeous drilled shot that is still almost rising as it hits the net, leaving the goalkeeper more than bemused.

Football is at its greatest when it threatens to deny both belief and physics, forcing you to reconsider what you estimate to be possible. Part of you wants to share it with the world, whilst the rest of you just wants to keep it to yourself, watching it over and over again and giggling. These are the goals that make the good great. They cannot be recreated, only admired.

Daniel Storey - Follow him on Twitter.

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