Yesterday's announcement revealing the final nominations for the 2012 FIFA Puskas Award has already attracted plenty of debate amongst football fans around the world over, with a previously ten-strong shortlist now whittled down to three.
Santos star Neymar - who won the 2011 accolade for best goal of the year - was selected alongside Atletico Madrid's prolific striker Radamel Falcao, and Galatasaray midfielder Miroslav Stoch, to fight it out for the 2012 award.
But, spare a thought for those individuals not lucky enough to have made the list of candidates, either this year or in seasons gone by. Their omissions were not because these players' goals were not good enough to make the final cut, no. The fact the standard of entries is so high means that one or two absences could be forgiven.
However, these players' efforts were not even credited with a goal, after being cruelly disallowed. Ranging from the speculative, to the acrobatic, GiveMeFootball has decided to remember five of the best goals that never stood.
Featuring a stellar cast list that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Wayne Rooney, Pablo Osvaldo and Thierry Henry, here they are…
In a 4-0 friendly win for Portugal against Spain, the Real Madrid forward would have scored a sensational chip had it not been for the foolish Nani heading his goal-bound effort over the line from an offside position, denying the 27-year-old a memorable strike against the reigning World and European champions.
Barcelona defeated Napoli 5-0 in the pre-season Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou in 2011 thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Lionel Messi. However, the game will be best remembered for Edinson Cavani's goal that never was.
With just 10 minutes played, Marek Hamsik nodded a chipped ball back across goal, and the Uruguayan striker sent a thunderous overhead kick off the underside of the bar past Jose Manuel Pinto in the Barcelona goal. The celebrations were short-lived though, as Hamsik had been flagged offside in the build-up.
A few months later, Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo had a similarly spectacular effort WRONGLY chalked off, in a Serie A clash with Leece at the Stadio Olimpico. Fernando Gago crossed to the back post for the Italian international to smash home with a stunning bicycle kick.
Fortunately for Roma, they went on to win the match 2-1, but that is unlikely to have been much consolation for Osvaldo, who was denied what would have undoubtedly been the greatest goal of his career.
In February 2012, Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. But the England international striker could have capped a sensational performance with a hat-trick, had his stunning 30-yard strike following a mazy run by Jonny Evans not been ruled out by referee Phil Dowd.
And finally, what about this cheeky Thierry Henry effort for Arsenal against Blackburn Rovers back in 2003. The French forward pinched the ball legally from the clutches of Brad Friedel as he prepared to lump upfield, and proceeded to slot into the open net, only for the goal to be controversially ruled out, much to the annoyance of Arsene Wenger.
Whilst not the greatest of finishes, the ingenuity and inventiveness shown by the Gunners legend means it warrants its place in this list - but GMF invites you to add any other unappreciated efforts, by leaving a comment below…
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