Man United, Liverpool… The FIVE greatest solo goals of all time

We all appreciate the beauty of a solo goal.

The player in question galloping forward, brushing off their opponents with a single stride, leaving them behind as if they were a childhood memory best forgotten, and then either rounding the keeper before sliding the ball home or executing the perfect finish past a helpless keeper.

They are a rarity but, when they come along, they are wonderful to watch. Seeing Gareth Bale out sprint Barcelona’s Marc Bartra from inside his own half before scoring the winner for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final a few months ago was a thing of pure beauty.

But was it the best? Not a chance. Well, you could argue that they’re all the best in their own right. But here’s FIVE I’d say top it.

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[ffc-gallery]Neymar [/ffc-gallery]

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Neymar vs. Flamengo (2011)

This makes the list purely for the bit of skill he uses to beat the last defender, which earned this goal the FIFA Puskas Award in 2011.

The Brazilian played a one-two with his teammate before collecting the ball about 30 yards from goal at pace, did something ridiculous with his feet to knock the ball past the defender, and then poked home past the goalkeeper.

He may not have ran almost the entire pitch, but the tekkers he uses makes it a wonderful addition to the list.

Michael Owen vs. Argentina (1998)

Many England fans questioned whether it was right to take an inexperienced 18-year-old in Michael Owen to the World Cup in France.

But he put all the doubters in their place with one of England’s greatest ever goals at a major tournament.

With a second-round tie with rivals Argentina locked at 1-1, Owen collected the ball on the half-way line and started running, mazing in and out of the Argentina defence before smashing past keeper Carlos Roa.

Ryan Giggs vs. Arsenal (1999)

With the scores level at 1-1 in this FA Cup semi-final replay, everyone watching was expecting the game to go to penalties.

But when Ryan Giggs collected a misplaced pass in the 109th minute, that all changed with a mazy run, emphatic finish and a ridiculously hairy chest.

United went on to win the treble that year to make history, but memories of his shirt swinging, bare-chested celebration will no doubt live longer in the memories of those lucky enough to be there.

Lionel Messi vs. Getafe (2011)

You can’t have a list like this without Messi’s name being mentioned. The solo goal is almost a trademark of his record-breaking career.

But it is the one against Getafe in 2011 that had fans talking the most, and even had supporters across the world comparing him to Argentine legend Diego Maradona.

You don’t get much better than this, particularly with him starting in his own area and having to hold off two brutal opponents before beginning his goal-bound onslaught.

Diego Maradona vs. England (1986)

He will always be remembered for the ‘Hand of God’ goal against the Three Lions, but he did produce the ‘Goal of the Century’ in the same game.

He picked up the ball well inside his own half, did a cheeky little turn to throw three England players off the scent, and then he was off.

He may have cheated England out of a World Cup semi-final in Mexico, but this goal was worthy of winning any match.