The 15 most overrated goals in football history

Eric Cantona of Manchester United

As the saying goes, a goal is a goal.

You’re most likely to hear that from a goal poacher in a post-match interview who has just scored from a matter of inches.

But in truth, as fans, we all prefer aesthetically pleasing goals. 

We’re never going to remember a goal which has been scrambled in from two yards. But a 35-yard screamer into the top corner? That’ll be lodged in our memories for years to come.

However, we’re here to question your opinion of some of those great goals in your memory.

That’s because we’re ranking the most overrated goals of all-time.

Now, for a goal to be overrated, it needs to be rated in the first place. Therefore all of these goals are still good. Some are still amazing. But we just think they’re slightly more overhyped than they should be.

We’re sure you will disagree with some of these. Maybe you’ll disagree with all of them.

But here’s what we think are the 15 most overrated goals in football history:

15 | Ryan Giggs vs Arsenal

One of the most famous goals in Manchester United’s history on their way to a historic treble. In extra-time of their FA Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal, Ryan Giggs was gifted the ball 10 yards inside his own half by a terrible Patrick Vieira pass. A half-hearted tackle from the Frenchman follows before Giggs runs through non-existent defending from Martin Keown and Lee Dixon.

He then fires the ball above David Seaman at the near post - with the goalkeeper probably feeling he could have done a bit better.

A fantastic goal all the same but overrated? We think so…

14 | Michael Owen vs Argentina

Remember when an 18-year-old Michael Owen burst onto the world scene with a wonder goal against Argentina in the last-16 of a World Cup match?

Well, it’s slightly overrated.

The first touch from Owen is brilliant as he uses his pace to get away from Jose Chamot. For some reason, Roberto Ayala was standing still on the edge of his penalty area - presumably terrified of Owen’s pace. But that made it easy for the striker to knock the ball past him before a great finish into the top corner.

It’s a great goal on the big stage but it’s not like Owen beat a whole defence with skill. It was all about his pace.

13 | Ronaldinho vs Chelsea

Now, this is a stupendous goal from one of the greatest players to play the game.

Only Ronaldinho would have the presence of mind to shimmy as he did and then toe-poke the ball into the corner out of nowhere.

It’s such a unique goal but we’ve been toe punting the ball since we were kids.

If anyone other than Ronaldinho had scored it, would we still remember it?

12 | Roberto Carlos vs France

Hey, don’t blame us on this one. Blame Roberto Carlos for admitting the wind played a big role in his ridiculous free-kick.

"When I hit the ball, I saw it was heading wide -- but then the wind, that famous wind, brought the ball back on target,” he once said.

To be fair, it’s been 23 years since Carlos’ crazy swerving free-kick and we’ve hardly seen one since.

11 | Dennis Bergkamp vs Newcastle

One of the greatest goals ever scored? Or a complete fluke?

We reckon Bergkamp meant that incredible skill based purely on his reaction. But there are plenty of people who still believe it was a bad touch from the Dutchman and he just got fortunate.

Therefore in the slight chance that Bergkamp didn’t actually mean it, we’re going to have to include it in this list.

10 | Mohamed Salah vs Everton

In fairness, we don’t hear football fans raving about this goal all that much. It’s lovely, don’t get us wrong but we’ve seen Salah curl one top-bins with his left foot on numerous occasions in a Liverpool shirt.

So how on earth did it win the Puskas Award in 2018?

We’re not sure who rated it as the best goal scored in the calendar year but some people clearly overrated it…

9 | Wayne Rooney vs Manchester City

“It defies description,” exclaimed Martin Tyler. “How about sensational? How about superb?”

How about overrated?

An overhead kick winner in a Manchester derby is all well and good but, let’s be honest, he shinned it.

Still, most of us can’t even get our leg in that position so who are we to judge?

8 | Anthony Martial vs Liverpool

“Oooooooh yes! Welcome to Manchester, Anthony Martial!”

Martin Tyler got far too excited for Martial’s debut goal against Liverpool. The Frenchman stumbled his way past the shocking defending of Martin Skrtel before finishing past Simon Mignolet.

Ok, for a new and expensive teenage player to score on his debut for United against Liverpool is a big moment but it wasn’t enough for a ‘Goalgasm.’

7 | Wayne Rooney vs West Ham

A half volley from 50 yards out being overrated? We’re afraid so.

It’s great vision, it’s great execution but West Ham goalkeeper Adrian is all over the place and the ball bounces before crossing the line.

The reaction of David Beckham and his son in the stands was better than the goal…

6 | Carlos Alberto vs Italy

We go all the way back to the 1970 World Cup for this one.

Some older fans may try and claim that Carlos Alberto’s strike is one of the greatest team goals ever. In truth, it only involves nine passes.

Clodoaldo’s skill to beat four opponents is class and Pele’s pass to Alberto is nonchalantly brilliant. Alberto’s first-time strike is fantastic but the greatest goal in World Cup history? No chance.

5 | Aaron Ramsey vs Fulham

It’s a fantastic flicked finish by Aaron Ramsey, who started the move in the right-back position.

But let’s be honest, the build-up is scrappy. Hector Bellerin’s flick is needless, while Ramsey needs two headers to get the ball out to Henrikh Mkhitaryan - with Fulham’s defence bizarrely backing off.

Let’s not take anything away from Ramsey’s finish from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross, though.

4 | Thierry Henry vs Spurs

Imagine scoring a goal after picking up the ball inside your own half and running for 60 yards without actually beating a single defender.

Henry shrugged off one Spurs defender and then when confronted by Stephen Carr and Ledley King on the edge of the box, just shifted it onto his left foot and finished.

A good goal but it can’t go down as a great individual goal.

3 | Robin van Persie vs Spain

The flying Dutchman.

Robin van Persie met Daley Blind's long pass with a terrific stooping header as he spectacularly threw himself to the ground.

But, in truth, Iker Casillas was in no man's land as he stood on his six-yard box leaving Van Persie with no alternative but to try and head the ball over him.

It's still a fantastic header when most players would have attempted to control the ball but some say it's the greatest header of all-time. No.

The subsequent images and memes of the goal have probably made it out to be slightly better than it was.

2 | Jack Wilshere vs Norwich

Some say it’s the greatest team goal the Premier League has ever seen.

Santi Cazorla plays it to Jack Wilshere, who plays it back to Cazorla. Cazorla plays a first time pass into Oliver Giroud, who flicks it to Wilshere. Wilshere flicks it back into Giroud who then, with the outside of his foot, plays in Wilshere, who finishes first time on the volley.

It’s slick one-touch passing but we’re dubious whether Wilshere really means his flick into Giroud and it’s just a bit of pinball.

Still, it’s a glorious team goal.

1 | Eric Cantona vs Sunderland

Cantona's skill to get away from two defenders near the halfway is class. But the actual finish is average. He’s inside the penalty area when he chips the ball and Sunderland goalkeeper Lionel Perez was eight yards off his line. It looks better with the ball hitting the angle as it went in but the world-class aspect of the goal is the nonchalant celebration.

It's a case of if it wasn't Cantona, nobody would have batted an eyelid.

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