As the years have gone by, there have been countless remarkable moments in the world of sport, none more than in soccer. Fans live on the edge of sport for a glimpse of something that will go down in history. Here are 10 of the greatest soccer moments of all time!
Zinadine Zidane’s Volley in the Champions League Final
The weak foot is rarely used by most players. However, Zinedine Zidane is not like most players. France’s wizard could be the best in his field, with ridiculous goals, trophies, and of course, the unforgettable headbutt. Unfortunately, Zidane’s career ended seven years after playing his last game at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Roberto Carlos probably didn’t expect much when he lay his looping cross in front of his balding teammate. Standing side by side with his feet firmly planted on the ground and his eyes firmly fixed on the ball, Zidane had his back to the goal. In the Champions League final, the former Juventus player volleyed Real Madrid into a stunning lead with a quick pivot and swing of his unfavorite left foot.
Sergio Aguero’s Late Winner
The last-gasp goal scored by Sergio Aguero on the very last day of the 2011-12 season was terrific. Watching in horror as the Argentinian forward scored into the QPR net, United thought they had just won the league with three points at Sunderland.
It was the first title for Sheikh Mansour’s mega-rich team. The potential dominance of City had started in the most dramatic fashion.
Lilian Thuram’s 1998 World Cup Performance
The two goals scored in this game by Thuram are nothing short of incredible. Both goals came against Croatia during the 1998 World Cup semi-finals. Especially with the tournament being held at home, the former Juventus hero couldn’t have picked a better moment to rescue his country.
Each of these goals is of exceptional quality. Thuram’s icy reaction after scoring the second goal is legendary, especially with the majority of the team screaming with happiness. In the end, France won 2-1 and captured their first World Cup title. French soccer should be remembered for Thuram’s performance as the moment the nation’s aspirations were fulfilled.
Greece Beating Portugal in the Euros 2004 Final
Greece has not had much to shout about when it comes to soccer over the last decade. In this sense, Spain’s Euro 2004 victory is almost unbelievable considering how dominant Spain has been since Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears of despair at Angelos Charisteas’ goal.
The most impressive thing about this victory is that it was not a fluke. Greece had already beaten Portugal in the group stages, making it two out of two with a rematch in the final. Furthermore, Greece beat France and the Czech Republic despite failing to score and drawing with Spain.
North Korea Beating Italy in the 1966 World Cup
66 was a year of miracles for North Korea. With little hope of winning, the Asian side shocked the world with a 1-0 win over an Italian heavyweight. There was a much different North Korea in the time period than there is today, as noted by The New York Times. In the BBC documentary, The Game of Their Lives, these players entered the pitch with personality and charisma.
There’s no reason to let the present political tensions in North Korea detract from such a remarkable feat as one that ranks among the best in soccer history. For 90 minutes in 1966, the North Korean national team was nothing short of sensational. There have been reports of players crying on the pitch, reports of torture after World Cup exits, and even Kim Jong-il’s troupe of volunteer fans.
Liverpool’s Famous Istanbul Victory
Liverpool trailed Milan 3-0 at halftime in the 2005 Champions League final. Dietmar Hamman replaced Steve Finnan in midfield at the break as Rafael Benitez sought to counter Milan’s attacking prowess.
The headed goal by Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool hope. Vladimir Smicer added to the scoring, and after a foul on Gerrard in the area by Gennaro Gattuso, Liverpool was awarded a penalty. Alonso took the kick, but Dida saved it. Fortunately, Alonso remained in the box to score a controversial equalizer. He leveled the match, forcing extra time that was also full of drama.
Andriy Shevchenko missed two opportunities to win after Dudek squandered two superb chances. Later in the penalty shootout, the Polish goalkeeper once more crushed Shevchenko’s dreams. For the fifth time in club history, Liverpool became European champions thanks to his intervention.
Ronaldinho Being Applauded by Madrid Fans at the Bernabeu
A hattrick was scored by Lionel Messi against Real Madrid. Ronaldinho’s performance at the Bernabeu in November 2005 was extraordinary and stood out as one of the season’s highlights. In large part, this is due to Brazil’s stellar performance. David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, and Iker Casillas were among his opponents. On a day when he netted two impressive goals and nearly dominated every area of the pitch, none of the greats could match Ronaldinho’s standards.
It was incredible to see how fast, creative and energetic this man was. He scored the third goal that led to the Bernabeu standing as he celebrated. Thierry Henry, however, has never been applauded at White Hart Lane. Would you ever imagine that?
Ryan Giggs’ Performance against Arsenal
Despite the legendary Champions League comeback by Manchester United in 1999, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men would not have won three trophies without a certain Welsh winger’s brilliance in the F.A. Cup. Semi-final against Arsenal.
This type of goal left even his teammates speechless! The play returned to Giggs behind the halfway line after Schmeichel saved Bergkamp’s penalty. He blasted a shot into the roof of the net with his explosive speed and tight control after overcoming multiple challenges.
The Panenka Penalty
The 1976 European Championship final is taking place. West Germany and Czechoslovakia tie 2-2, resulting in the first penalty shootout of the major tournament. Anton Panenka takes the final shot. Czechoslovakia will be crowned champions if he scores.
The pressure is enormous. Most players would choose power in a situation like this. Panenka would not be blamed for hitting the ball as hard as he could. He instead chipped the ball straight down the middle of the goal. This is how the Panenka Penalty came into being.
The Hand of God
At the 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona showed off his “Hand of God” performance. A little divine intervention would have been a fitting tribute to Maradona’s brilliance that day.
In the end, Argentina won their second World Cup, but Maradona’s use of the hand still captivates people. There is no other instance in soccer history where a split-second decision has left an imprint as memorable as this one.