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Top 10 goals that changed the history of football

Sergio Ramos has scored several iconic goals for Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos has scored several iconic goals for Real Madrid
Ashwin Hanagudu

Football is all about goals, and these goals have quite simply changed the history of the beautiful game. A goal in the World Cup final, a last-minute winner to win the league, or a goal in a final to start an epic comeback - we've seen several iconic moments in the years that have gone by.

There are plenty of important goals to choose from and picking the best out of the many historic goals scored is no easy task. In this segment, we take a look at ten such goals that changed the landscape of things in the beautiful game.


#10 Steven Gerrard's goal in the Champions League final against AC Milan (2005)

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard triggered the comeback in Istanbul
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard triggered the comeback in Istanbul

The 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul was quite simply one of the greatest matches to have ever been played in the history of football. Rafa Benitez's Liverpool side headed into the game as underdogs against Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded AC Milan side.

The first half lived up to the form book, as Milan demolished Liverpool, with Paolo Maldini scoring the opener and Hernan Crespo scoring a brace to give the Serie A side a 3-0 lead. However, what followed in the second half is the stuff of legends and, still gives Liverpool fans goosebumps.

Liverpool, inspired by their captain fantastic, Steven Gerrard, made a stunning comeback and scored three times in the space of 6 minutes to restore parity. They held on till penalties and secured a famous Champions League victory.

The match became so famous that it is now popularly known as the 'miracle of Istanbul,' and Steven Gerrard's opening goal was the catalyst for the comeback victory.


#9 Mario Gotze's goal in the World Cup final against Argentina

Mario Gotze came off the bench to decide the FIFA World Cup final in 2014
Mario Gotze came off the bench to decide the FIFA World Cup final in 2014

Joachim Low withdrew 36-year-old Miroslav Klose in favour of Mario Gotze in the 88th minute and said: "Show the world you are better than Messi and can decide the World Cup." The little German and went and did just that.

The "German Messi" scored the only goal of the match in the 113th minute and sealed his country's first major international trophy since 1996.

Scoring the only goal in the second half of a World Cup final catapulted Gotze's to this list, and Low's Germany side could finally win a major international trophy after years of missing out on the top prize by the narrowest of margins.


#8 Sergio Ramos' last-minute equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 UCL final

Sergio Ramos scored a stoppage-time equaliser against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid
Sergio Ramos scored a stoppage-time equaliser against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid

Any match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is always huge. Make it in a Champions League final with Los Blancos aiming for their historic 'La Decima', and it is a match of epic proportions. The Rojiblancos were well on their way to a memorable Champions League triumph, but Sergio Ramos had other ideas.

1-0 ahead with 93 minutes played, Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid were already dreaming of lifting the elusive Champions League trophy. However, Ramos rose tallest in the 93rd minute to equalise and take the game into extra time.

In extra time, Real Madrid dominated a shell-shocked Atleti side and secured a comfortable 4-1 victory. Ramos' last-minute equaliser in the final buoyed Real Madrid and Ancelotti on their way to 'La Decima,' making them the first team in history to win Europe's premier competition ten times.


#7 Pele's famous bicycle kick against Belgium in 1968

Pele's overhead kick against Belgium is remembered till date
Pele's overhead kick against Belgium is remembered till date

Watching a successful bicycle kick is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world of football. Arguably the best player in the history of football, Pele, made the bicycle kick popular with a stunning goal against Belgium in 1968.

The player received a cross from the left-wing, but instead of facing the goal, he had his back towards it. As everyone wondered what the footballing genius was up to, he tilted his body backwards and sprung in the air to unleash a shot with his highly renowned right foot.

Like the keeper, the rest of the world was stunned with this piece of absolute genius as it redefined the norms of conventional football.


#6 Michael Thomas' last-minute winner against Liverpool to win the league for Arsenal

Michael Thomas scored the title decider at Anfield in 1989
Michael Thomas scored the title decider at Anfield in 1989

The final match of the 1988-89 English football league season was contested on 26th May 1989 at Anfield, between the division's top two sides, Liverpool and Arsenal. With the Gunners needing a two-goal victory to seal the title, not many expected the Merseyside giants to crumble at home.

Despite being labelled underdogs, Arsenal's Michael Thomas scored an incredible second goal in the 89th minute to give the Gunners the league title. Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool were left heartbroken in their fortress while Thomas wrote himself into Arsenal folklore with his title-winning goal.


#5 Sergio Aguero's last-minute winner against QPR to win the Premier League (2012)

Sergio Aguero produced one of the most iconic moments in Premier League history
Sergio Aguero produced one of the most iconic moments in Premier League history

Balotelli to Aguerooo! Who can forget the goal and the incredible scenes which followed after Sergio Aguero's winner in the 93rd minute for Manchester City which won them the Premier League title after 44 years?

Heading into the final day of the 2012 season, City only needed to win at home against lowly QPR, but, Roberto Mancini's side seemed to be staring down the barrel when they were 2-1 down after 90 minutes.

An equaliser from Edin Dzeko and a last-minute winner from Sergio Aguero raised the roof of the Etihad. The rest, as they say, is history.


#4 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich (1999)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's goal sealed a famous smash and grab victory for Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's goal sealed a famous smash and grab victory for Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson's 'Fergie time' is famous all over the footballing world, and it was very evident on that fateful night at Camp Nou. His side came from 0-1 down to win 2-1 against Bayern Munich in the last 3 minutes of the 1999 Champions League final.

Manchester United fans would have been happy with an equaliser in the last minute. When Teddy Sheringham equalised in the 90th minute, many of them would have taken a penalty shootout, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had other ideas.

Buoyed by the equaliser, United pushed on for a winner, and they were rewarded handsomely when the Norwegian scored to give United a famous treble in 1999.


#3 Andres Iniesta's World Cup final goal against the Netherlands

Andres Iniesta scored the most important goal in Spain's history
Andres Iniesta scored the most important goal in Spain's history

Spain had a significant history of underachieving in the World Cups, and when they went into the tournament in 2010, they knew that it the best chance to win football's premier prize.

La Roja were blessed with a fantastic squad and were looking to cement their place in history as one of the greatest teams in the history of football. In the World Cup final against the Netherlands, Spain struggled to break down the Orange until the 116th minute, when Andres Iniesta popped up to score one of the most iconic goals of recent times.

The little magician's goal united a nation and heralded in an era of dominance for the La Roja.


#2 Marco van Basten's iconic volley in the 1988 Euro final against the Soviet Union

Marco van Basten is regarded as one of the greatest Dutch footballers of all-time
Marco van Basten is regarded as one of the greatest Dutch footballers of all-time

Marco van Basten was undoubtedly one of the greatest talents to ever play the game. The Netherlands international had his greatest moment in the 1988 Euro final, where he scored a stunning volley to give the Netherlands their only major international trophy.

Van Basten played a starring role in UEFA Euro 1988, scoring five times, which included a hat-trick against England, a goal in the semi-final against bitter rivals Germany, and a stunning volley against Soviet Union in the final.

With one of history's most gilded touches, he smashed a volley in with all his elegance to score one of the greatest goals anyone has ever seen.


#1 Diego Maradona's infamous 'hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 World Cup

Diego Maradona's hand of God is one of the most controversial moments in this history of the game
Diego Maradona's hand of God is one of the most controversial moments in this history of the game

Love him or hate him; you cannot ignore him. Diego Maradona is one of the greatest, if not the greatest player ever to grace the game. The Argentine played in four World Cups, but the one he is remembered most for is the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Maradona captained the Argentina team to victory that year, where he stole the show thanks to his brilliant play and dribbling skills.

His most famous game was against England, where he scored the infamous "hand of God" goal and followed it up four minutes later with what is dubbed as the "best goal of all time," when he single-handedly dribbled past the whole English defence to score.

The England game was played in the backdrop of the Malvinas war, and Maradona in his inimitable style had this to say:

“It was as if we had beaten a country, more than just a football team. Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas war, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge.”

A goal that made Maradona a household name, a goal which altered the history of the game, Maradona's brace against England is easily one of the most iconic moments in football history.

Edited by Staff Editor

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