Top 5: Handball goals

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Luis Suarez is no stranger to controversy, and this weekend the Liverpool striker found himself at the centre of another storm after he appeared to handball as he scored to put Liverpool 2-0 up in their FA Cup tie against Mansfield.

Within seconds of the ball hitting the net, Suarez was branded a cheat by the commentators, torn apart by pundits, and subjected to vitriolic abuse on that most unforgiving of platforms, Twitter.

Whether he meant it or not was never in question, it was Luis Suarez. Of course he meant it. Unfortunately, the footage is less clear, but that doesn't fit the narrative.

Suarez has previous. He dives, which means he 'cheats', and he's racist, according to the FA, which banned him for eight games last season for racially abusing Patrice Evra.

Some wanted Suarez to own up, and admit to the referee he handled the ball - like one noble German international last season, see below - but the Liverpool striker didn't. Another example of his unpleasant character. Never mind the fact that very few players would do this. Never mind the fact it's up to the referee to interpret and enforce handballs.

But, while Suarez admittedly can be extremely unpleasant, it seems the Liverpool man is subjected to a standard few others are held up to.

Still, if you can, put aside the questions surrounding the morality of Suarez's goal. Instead, the incident gives us an excellent opportunity to relive some of the most famous, most opportunistic and most controversial goals of all-time, each involving a perceived unfair use of the hand.

So, stop castigating Suarez for something almost every other striker in the league would have done, and enjoy your top 5 handball goals…

Diego Maradona | England v Argentina 1986

The most infamous of the all, the granddaddy of handball goals. The effort is a blatant cheat, but, even as an Englishman I can admit there's something devilishly brilliant about Maradona's goal.

It's cheating, it's horrible, it's just not cricket, but it's a genius piece of improvisation.

Lionel Messi | Barcelona v Espanyol | 2007

The Messi-Maradona comparisons were already in overdrive when Messi fueled the fire with a 'hand of God' goal of his own.

Like Maradona twenty-one years before, how could a 5ft 6in striker beat a 6ft-plus goalkeeper to the ball? Forget the rules, punch it in.

Luis Suarez | Mansfield v Liverpool 2013

The most recent addition to the pantheon of handball based goals. Decide for yourself whether he meant it or not...

Thierry Henry | France v Ireland 2009

Henry didn't score himself, but his cheeky move coaxed the ball into play, redirecting it off course and into the path of an onrushing William Gallas.

He poked home, Ireland raged, and France qualified for the 2010 World Cup.

Raul | Real Madrid v Leeds 2001

Real Madrid striker Raul was banned for one match and fined almost £8,000 for his 'handball' goal against Champions League rivals Leeds in 2001. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a video of it, so we've included a bonus extra video for you below!


Miroslav Klose | Lazio v Napoli 2012

Here's how it should be done. The Germany international finds the net against Napoli, guiding the ball in with his hand.

But, rather than shrug his shoulders and trot back up the pitch, or sprint screaming to the corner flag for a 15m knee-slide celebration, Klose had a quiet word in the referee's ear. 'I hand-balled it'.

No goal, and just like that Klose became one of the game's true gentleman.

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