24 of the most humiliating goals in history, featuring Lionel Messi and Ronaldo

FC Barcelona v Celta Vigo - La Liga

Humiliating goals are some of the most satisfying occurrences in football.

Sure, a goal is a goal, but nothing brings supporters to their feet like a strike of such impudence and arrogance that it turns your celebrations and bragging rights up to 11.

It’s just so fulfilling to see a world-class defender folded like a deckchair, one of the best ‘keepers in the business looking like a fool and your favourite player resembling a complete badass.

If you’re reading this article, we’re sure you already have an example in mind and truth be told, categorising some of the greatest ‘humiliating goals’ in history is harder than you might expect.

What you consider to be the most ruthless goals of all time is very much subjective, but we’ve done our best to give an eclectic range of chips, back-heels, pure skill and even downright s***housery.

Most humiliating goals of recent years

And with the help of a superb compilation from YouTuber ‘SportsHD’, we’ve compiled 24 goals – though there are far more – that give a wide range of ways in which goals can be humiliating.

So, without further ado, here’s how we’ve ranked 24 strikes that will live long in the minds of their scorers and forever inhabit the nightmares of those who conceded them. Enjoy.

24. Thierry Henry vs Chelsea

We’re kicking off with one of the most underrated goals in Henry’s highlight heel at Arsenal, spinning the Chelsea ‘keeper like he’s taking to the dance-floor at a wedding and giving John Terry a first-row seat for the action.


23. Ronaldo Nazario vs Valencia

‘El fenomeno’ almost reached a century of goals from dribbling around the goalkeeper alone, but none have been more badass than when he added a defender to his hit-list mere second afterwards.


22. Pablo Hernandez vs Atletico Madrid

There’s an element of luck here, for sure, but let’s not pretend as though this gorgeously casual back-heel didn’t make Diego Godin and Miguel Ángel Moyá look like complete mugs.


21. Arjen Robben vs Spain

Blitzing Ramos for speed. Check. Making Iker Casillas breakdance. Check. Taking his time to utterly humiliate the defence. Check. Exactly revenge on Spain by smashing them 5-1. Check.


20. Lionel Messi vs Arsenal

We’re inclined to think this goal was slightly overrated with its FIFA Puskas award nomination, but floating the ball over Manuel Almunia’s head before volleying it into a empty net is still worthy of style points.


19. Sadio Mane vs Watford

Chipping the goalkeeper with a back-heel when you’re facing your own goal. Need we say more?


18. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Rayo Vallecano

Speaking of back-heels and there’s a few we could have selected from Ronaldo‘s illustrious career, but the surprise factor of this piece of skill going through so many bodies make it the best of the bunch.


17. Luis Suarez vs Mallorca

While Suarez’s contribution to the back-heel party is a little less inventive, the fact he carved out what was essentially a rudimentary finish in such a humiliating fashion gives this one the edge.


16. Eric Cantona vs Sunderland

Is it overrated? Maybe. Does it make the goalkeeper look like a cardboard cutout regardless? Hell yeah.


15. Neymar vs Villarreal

From the moment Neymar spins himself and the ball past the defender like he’s body-popping, you know something special was on the cards, never mind when he smashed it into the net.


14. Mesut Ozil vs Ludogorets

Welcome to the area of the list where rounding the goalkeeper just isn’t enough and how could we possibly leave out when Ozil had half the Ludogorets crawling on all fours at his feet?


13. Jeremy Menez vs Parma

The goalkeeper is made to look like a spectator with the way Menez breezes past him and to finish it off with a back-heeled chip over his head was something straight out of FIFA Street.


12. Hakan Çalhanoğlu vs Borussia Dortmund

Arguably the most different goal of the 24, there’s just something so badass about putting everything behind a 50-yard free-kick in a game you’ve already won to bag the Goal of the Season as an added extra.


11. Grafite vs Bayern Munich

It’s as though Grafite forgot he was playing against a European giant, though he was back on the playground and just thought ‘screw it’ by ending an outrageous solo run with the most-perfectly disguised back-heel.


10. Erik Lamela vs Asteras

It might have been in front of a half-empty White Hart Lane in a dead-rubber Europa League tie, but scoring a rabona first time from outside the penalty area is humiliation at its finest.


9. Philippe Albert vs Manchester United

While we’ll happily admit that its status as an iconic Premier League moment has played a role here, we’re not sure anything sums up ‘humiliation’ more than lobbing Peter Schmeichel to wrap up a 5-0 win over Fergie’s United.


8. Paul-Georges Ntep vs Reims

You know we mentioned s***housery earlier… how’s getting down on all fours and heading the ball over the line for you?


7. Francesco Totti vs Inter Milan

Have we overrated this goal because it was scored by Totti? Ah well, sue us, but come on, it’s one of the most stylish footballers of all time scoring against Inter Milan at the San Siro with the sort of finish that’s one big middle finger.


6. Lionel Messi vs Bayern Munich

Sure, there’s no rabona or back-heel to enjoy here, but the day we get tired of seeing Jerome Boateng tumbling to Cam Nou’s turf is the day football should never be played again.


5. Ronaldinho vs Osasuna

Ah, don’t mind Ronaldinho, he’s just playing keepy-ups in front of the defence in their own penalty area and then scoring with a scissor kick. Nothing to see here.

4. Giovani dos Santos vs United States of America

Rumour has it that Tim Howard almost won America’s Got Talent for his display of breakdancing during Dos Santos’ astonishing goal. Plus, the chip couldn’t have been further in the top corner.


3. Jonathan Calleri vs Quillmes

Using a rabona to shoot makes a goal humiliating because, well, that’s how the world works, but using it to lob the goalkeeper to find the far top corner at La Bombonera is the stuff dreams are made of.


2. Dean Saunders vs Port Vale

A goalkeeper conceding because his back has been used to allow a striker to take a quick throw-in, so they can score into the empty net they’ve vacated. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is humiliation.


1. Luis Suarez vs Celta Vigo

You love this goal, we love this goal, everybody loves this goal. Of course it’s number one.

Messi simply passing the penalty to his side so Suarez could slot it into the bottom corner is dripping in so much humiliation you could make an infinity pool out of it.


So many humiliating goals

Admit, those goals brought back some brilliant memories.

We couldn’t resist putting Barcelona’s pass-penalty at the top of the list and although Johan Cruyff’s Ajax did it decades beforehand, something felt so right about Messi getting in on the action.

The Argentine is considered to be the GOAT by many and alongside the prolific Suarez, that enduring clip of sheer audacity will forever be used to some up a golden age at Camp Nou. 


That being said, we don’t hold a grudge if you think goals like Ronaldinho’s juggling at Osasuna, Çalhanoğlu earth-shattering free-kick or Albert’s iconic lob were worthy of number one.

But regardless of which goal you might class as the most humiliating of all, let’s just enjoy the fact that even the best players in the world are susceptible to being made to look a fool.

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