VIDEO: The Best Ever Long Range Goals
April 03, 2018
At times, it’s hard to understand why football is called “the beautiful game”. From diving and time wasting to groups of enraged players haranguing a beleaguered referee, top-flight football often falls victim to some of the worst human instincts.
Still, there are also magical moments when the action on the field transcends sport itself, especially when players combine to produce truly stunning or game-defining goals. Long-range strikes tend to be among the most spectacular and memorable, as they often come likes bolts from the blue and stir considerable emotion among fans.
But what are the best long-range goals ever scored? Below, in no particular order, we’ve ranked the top 10 strikes that we’ve ever seen at the Bet Hut.
Luis Suarez – Liverpool vs. Norwich City, 2013
Former Liverpool strike Luis Suarez enjoyed playing against Norwich, plundering 12 goals in just four matches. This bounty included four during a 5-1 thrashing of the Canaries in December 2013, as the Uruguayan claimed a hat-trick in 35 bewildering first-half minutes. The first was the pick of the bunch, as he collected a bouncing ball in the middle of the park before steadying himself and launching a dipping, 40-yard volley beyond the despairing reach of John Ruddy.
Oleksandr Aliyev – Ukraine U-20s vs. Turkey U-20s, 2005
The footage of this goal has become something of a viral sensation on YouTube, while it was unsurprisingly voted as goal of the tournament during the Under-20 World Cup in 2005. It was scored by Ukrainian deal-ball specialist Oleksandr Aliyev during a group game against Turkey, with the young midfielder driving a fierce, 40-yard free-kick past the startled keeper Serkan Kirintili. Struck from a central position, the ball swerved considerably and at great pace beyond the Turkish stopper, nestling into the top corner of the net before he’d even had time to move.
David Beckham – Manchester United vs. Wimbledon, 1996
Not only was this the goal that launched David Beckham’s top flight career, but it also remains one of the best long-range strikes of all time. It came as Wimbledon entertained defending champions Manchester United at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the 1996/97 season, after veteran midfielder Brian McClair has won the ball 10 yards inside his own half. It broke to young starlet David Beckham, who advanced to the halfway line before launching an inch-perfect, 50-yard chip over the back-pedalling Neil Sullivan.
Dejan Stankovic – Inter Milan vs. Schalke 04, 2011
While Germany stopper Manuel Neuer is renowned as being a sweeper keeper extraordinaire, he was left red-faced by Inter Milan’s Dejan Stankovic during a Champions League quarter-final in 2011. In the first minute of the game, the keeper ran from his goal to head clear Esteban Cambiasso’s raking pass, only to find Stankovic running on to the loose ball. Rather than controlling it, however, the midfielder showed incredible technique to send a ferocious, first-time volley sailing over Neuer’s head and into the vacant net from the halfway line.
Paul Scholes – Manchester United vs. Aston Villa, 2006
Paul Scholes scored 155 goals during his 718-game career at Old Trafford, with a disproportionate number of these coming from outside the penalty area. His finest strike undoubtedly came against Aston Villa during a Premier League match in December 2006, after a Ryan Giggs corner was headed clear by midfielder Gavin McCann. As the ball fell from the sky, the eager Scholes met it on the volley around 35 yards from goal, sending a fierce, dipping strike into the top left-hand corner of the net. The technique used was truly incredible, and this remains one of the best EPL goals of all time.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United vs. FC Porto, 2009
Just three years after Paul Scholes’ delicious strike against Villa, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo arguably produced an even better strike during a Champions League clash with Porto in 2009. After drifting into a central position, Ronaldo collected Anderson’s pass 45 yards from goal, before advancing and hitting a powerful, arrow-like shot straight into the top left-hand corner. Ronaldo was around 40 yards from goal when he struck the ball, while its trajectory left the keeper with absolutely no chance of keeping it out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden vs. England, 2012
Ibrahimovic once famously said after being invited to a trial with Arsenal that “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”, and it’s easy to see why when he can score goals like this. With Sweden already 3-2 up in an international friendly match, Ibrahimovic chased a long ball with interest as Joe Hart raced from his goal to head clear. The Swedish striker reacted quickly to the loose ball, however, contorting his body to send a long-range overhead kick over his shoulder and into the vacant net from more than 30 yards.
If you haven’t seen it, we recommend that you check out the video above, complete with Stan Collymore’s effusive and utterly hilarious commentary.
Roberto Carlos – Brazil vs. France, 1997
In 1997, England, France, Italy and Brazil took part in Tournoi de France, which was scheduled as a warm-up competition ahead of the 1998 World Cup. While this tournament is notable for the fact that Glenn Hoddle’s impressive young England side actually won, it’s also remembered for a stunning Roberto Carlos free kick against France. After the full-back lined up a relatively central dead ball more than 40 yards from goal, he struck a swerving shot with the outside of his left boot that seemed to defy the laws of physics before nestling beyond the startled Fabian Barthez.
Maxi Rodriguez – Argentina v Mexico, 2006
The 2006 World Cup produced some superb attacking football, with the second round clash between Argentina and Mexico offering a relevant case in point. This thrilling, end-to-end encounter was settled in extra-time, with a goal good enough to win any game of football. It came when Rodriguez controlled full back Juan Sorin’s crossfield pass superbly on his chest, before striking the ball full on the volley and sending an unstoppable effort into the left-hand corner of the net.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst – Holland v Uruguay, 2010
Four years later in 2010, Dutch full-back Van Brockhurst lit up a semi-final with Uruguay with a truly stunning long-range strike. There seemed little or no danger as Van Brockhurst tiptoed into midfield and collected a square pass 45 yards from goal, before the former Arsenal man took a touch and knocked the ball out of his feet. From an impossible angle on the left-hand side, Van Brockhurst then sent a ferocious 35-yard strike arrowing into the opposite corner, despite a desperate dive from Uruguay stopper Fernando Muslera.