Football: Five of the best goals that could have been
We all remember football’s truly special goals. Diego Maradona’s superb solo run against England in the 1986 World Cup, Zinedine Zidane’s wonderful volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the 2003 Champions League final and Ryan Giggs’ unforgettable extra-time strike against Arsenal in the 1998 FA Cup semi-final replay. The list goes on.
But what about the stunning strikes that have been chalked off over the years? We have a look at five of the greatest goals that could -or should -have been.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal v Spain, 2010
Cristiano Ronaldo sparkled during his side’s 4-0 demolition of reigning world champions Spain. And Real Madrid’s record signing should have opened the scoring after powering past Gerard Pique and sending Xabi Alonso the wrong way before lifting a deft lob over Iker Casillas. Cue wild celebrat… oh dear. Nani, who was drifting in at the far post, needlessly heads the ball across the line. The goal was ruled out for offside despite replays showing Nani was actually onside.
2. Kevin Keegan, Southampton v Manchester United, 1981-82 season
Kevin Keegan’s outrageous volley was disallowed because Saints team-mate David Armstrong was deemed to have been in an offside position. Under today’s rules the goal surely would have stood.
3. Michel Platini, Juventus v Argentinos Juniors, 1985
Michel Platini’s superb solo effort was ruled out – again because of a straying team-mate. And once again the goal would not have been chalked off in 2010.
4. George Best, Northern Ireland v England, 1971
One of the most memorable ‘goals’ of George Best’s decorated career was his cunning strike against England at Windsor Park. As goalkeeper Gordan Banks released the ball, Best nipped in, lobbed the shot-stopper and headed the ball into the empty net. But…yes, you can guess what happens next.
5. Pedro Mendes, Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, 2005
With neither side able to break the deadlock, Pedro Mendes’ 88th-minute effort from the halfway line was fumbled by an out-of-position Roy Carroll, who only pushed the ball out after it had crossed the line by over a yard. The linesman, however, was still catching his breath as he trundled towards the corner flag. He didn’t see it cross the line, and neither did the referee. Cue some shifty glances from Carroll as the official waves play on.
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