Diego Maradona’s solo goal against England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was named by fans as the ‘Goal of the Century’ on FIFA.com. But will the diminutive Argentine top the list in Football FanCast’s top ten solo goals of all time? Find out the answer below …
10. Cesc Fabregas v Tottenham Hotspur, 2009
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas scored the second of two goals in 11 seconds for the Gunners against old enemies Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates last October.
Dutch ace Robin van Persie broke up a sloppy pass from the Spurs midfield seconds after the restart and diverted the ball into the path of Fabregas. The Spanish international then accelerated at speed through the centre of the pitch before smashing the ball past the hapless Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and into the corner.
9. Matias Fernandez v Club Deportivo O’Higgins, 2006
Chilean international Matias Fernandez scored 57 goals in 112 games for his first club Colo-Colo and this was by far one of his most spectacular.
Just weeks after his full debut as a professional, Fernandez received the ball in his own-half and began ducking and diving his way through challenges before delivering a finish of great finesse to round off a truly wonderful goal. Simply sensational.
8. George Weah v Verona, 1996
AC Milan legend George Weah, formerly of Chelsea and Manchester City, led a one man counter-attack from inside his own penalty area after a Genoa attack was broken up by the Rossoneri.
The Liberian and former World Player of the Year outpaced all his colleagues to run the length of the pitch and attack The Old Fools with raw pace, power and skill. See it for yourself below.
7. Steve McManaman v Celtic, 1997
Liverpool’s flying winger Steve McManaman levelled the scores in the UEFA Cup First Round at Parkhead with a wonderful injury-time, individual goal against the Bhoys in 1997.
After receiving the ball 20 yards inside his own half, the mop-haired midfielder glided past half the Celtic side before delivering a stunning finish to one of the great solo goals of all-time.
6. Michael Owen v Argentina, 1998
Michael Owen’s goal against Argentina in 1998 makes it onto this list given the importance of the game and the timing of his impact.
Owen announced himself on the world’s greatest stage, showing the coolness and clinical finishing of an experienced pro to fire past stopper Carlos Roa and send the England fans packed into the Saint-Étienne stadium wild.
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5. Thierry Henry v Tottenham Hotspur, 2002
French maverick Thierry Henry scored many wonderful goals during his eight year spell at Arsenal and this is up there with the best of them.
Henry stormed from one end of the Highbury pitch to the other before weaving and bobbing his way across the penalty area until he got a sight of goal. Henry must have known how good the strike was after abandoning his usual calm exterior to slide onto the turf in ecstasy, before being mobbed by his team-mates.
4. Zlatan Ibrahimović v NAC Breda, 2004
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimović built a reputation as one of the hottest young talents in Europe during his three year spell at Ajax from 2001.
It is easy to see why Ibrahimović became a global superstar given his early displays at the Amsterdam Arena, where in his last season at the club he scored this breathtaking solo goal. Enjoy.
3. Lionel Messi v Getafe, 2007
Diego Maradona himself would have been proud of this goal from the protégé aiming to replace him as Argentina’s greatest player of all time.
Lionel Messi, nicknamed ‘The Flea’, beat practically the whole Getafe side with a mesmerising display of skill and speed, leaving the opposition standing like statues.
2. Ryan Giggs v Arsenal, 1999
With Manchester United chasing an unprecedented Treble, winger Ryan Giggs produced a moment of brilliance against Arsenal to win the tense tie. With Roy Keane sent off it looked as though United’s hopes would be dashed as The Gunners piled on the pressure with the scores level.
Welsh wing wizard Giggs had other ideas though after picking up a loose pass from French midfielder Patrick Vieira inside his own half before waltzing through the entire Arsenal defence and rifling an unstoppable shot past David Seaman.
1. Diego Maradona v England, 1986
For me, Diego Maradona’s ‘Goal of the Century’ remains the greatest solo goal that has ever been scored. Was it ever really in doubt? While some of the goals above were scored in the UEFA Cup or against lower league sides, Maradona scored his magnificent goal in a crucial World Cup game against England.
This individual effort remains a symbol of the Argentine’s flair, creativity and genius and sums up Maradona’s two decades in football. Just incase you have been living on the moon for the last 25 years and have yet to see the video, I have posted it below: