Which of these four is the best ever Champions League final goal?
Michael Johnson | 21 August 2020
Which of these stunning strikes is your favourite?
With the Champions League final between Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich on Sunday, we take a look at some of the finest goals to have graced the occasion.
From a technically sublime volley, a stunning individual effort and THAT overhead kick, we’ve whittled it down to four options for you. Sorry Liverpool fans, but Vladimir Smicer’s second-half stunner and Mario Mandzukic’s overhead kick don’t quite make the cut.
Here are our four picks…
Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid) v Bayer Leverkusen in 2002
The ball seems to hang in the air forever here after Roberto Carlos cross spoons into orbit, with necks craning upward to see the flight of the ball. Time seems to stop as Zidane angles his body, before unleashing an unstoppable volley into the top corner of the net.
There’s something innately satisfying about a well-hit volley and few have been more sweetly struck than this, combining patience, poise and technical perfection as the midfield maestro earned his side a 2-1 win to claim the trophy.
The best thing about it? On his weaker foot.
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) v Liverpool in 2018
While Bale may now be persona non-grata at the Spanish giants, they won’t soon forget this strike.
Bale steps back to the edge of the box to meet a Marcelo cross that’s behind the Welsh wizard, defying gravity to execute a precise and powerful overhead kick that leaves poor Loris Karius stranded. In contrast to the poise of Zidane’s strike, it’s the sheer athleticism that impresses here.
Bale surely can’t see the ball as it drops, but he throws his entire body at it, risking the humiliation that comes with a missed bicycle kick – and his bravery is duly rewarded.
Diego Milito (Inter Milan) v Bayern Munich in 2010
Sometimes you just need a player to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, and Sylvester Stallone-lookalike Diego Milito did exactly that here, scoring both of the goals that secured Jose Mourinho’s Inter side the trophy.
It’s his second goal that’s truly memorable though. Receiving the ball from 40 yards out, Milito dribbles to the left-edge of the box, evading one challenge and tricking the centre-back with a sublimely timed shimmy. He then guides the ball around an on-rushing Hans-Jorg Butt with the perfect FIFA ‘R2’ finesse shot, as the ball nestles into the bottom corner of the net.
Hernan Crespo (AC Milan) v Liverpool in 2005
Brazilian midfielder Kaka turns on the half-way line, deceiving his man and plays a raking through ball, aimed behind the defender and into the path of striker Crespo. The pass is actually perfect.
Jamie Carragher lunges at it, but it’s an inch too far and too fast – taking him out of the game entirely. Somehow Crespo’s stride perfectly matches the weight of the pass and as Jerzy Dudek rushes out, Crespo gives the pass the finish it deserves, with a sublime little dink over the Polish keeper.
Which goal is your favourite? Let us know in our Twitter poll.
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