At the end of every calendar year, soccer fans tend to look back at the year behind them and remember the great soccer goals that marked the last twelve months of the most important sport in the world. 2018 was the year of the World cup and the national championships were entertaining as well, so there were a bunch of goals tipped as top goals of the year. Here are some of them:
In arguably one of the greatest games of 2018, Gareth Bale scored a brace in the Champions League final, with the first one being one of the best goals in Champions League history. A beautiful overhead kick after Marcelo cross gave Real Madrid the lead and ultimately the win against Liverpool.
Another Real Madrid goal hits the list, as Ronaldo’s bicycle kick against Juventus can easily be described as the best goals of the year. Ronaldo scored a brace in that game and the response he received from Juventus fans after that goals prompted him to move to Turin later that year.
Although not as attractive as the first two, Ciro Immobile’s goal against Napoli surely featured some great skills by the striker. Quickly controlling a long ball, Lazio striker outsmarted three Napoli defenders before slotting the shot in the upper left corner of the goal.
One of the greatest revelations of 2017/2018 season was Wolves’ midfielder Ruben Neves, who went on to score six goals in his first season in English soccer – all six outside of the box. His goal against Derby is a true masterpiece of a volley, but we are yet to see more from him in the Premier League.
While a perfect free kick depends on many factors, this shot by Wolfsburg midfielder Max Arnold has to be the best Bundesliga goal in the year behind us. Arnold managed to curve the ball in an incredible manner, leaving Eintracht goalkeeper in wonders.
Although Lazaros would later move on to join Olympiacos, the midfielder scored an amazing free kick playing for AEK Athens in 2018 against Olympiacos. Similar to Arnold’s goal, Lazaros effort featured a curve shot from a longer distance, thus also earning a place on this list
2018 FIFA World cup gave us plenty of great goals, but the standout was the goal from Benjamin Pavard for France against Argentina. He followed a cleared cross and fired a volley with his right foot, leaving Argentina goalkeeper without a chance. It was also voted the Goal of the tournament by FIFA.
Although the Australian league is not very popular in the rest of the world, this goal surely caught the eye of soccer fans. Newcastle Jets’ McGree scored a remarkable scorpion kick goal, leaving his teammates and the goalkeeper stunned. Although there is a feeling he hit it accidentally, it still is a great goal.
Ibrahimović is known for his outrageous goals during his career and his 500th is no different. Playing for LA Galaxy, he scored a stunning goal against Toronto, with this “taekwondo” kick. From a practically impossible situation, this surely deserves a place on this list.
Although his goal against Everton did eventually win the Puskas award, this one against Tottenham is even more impressive. In the dying moments of the game, he dribbled past three Spurs defenders and chipped the ball over Lloris to give Liverpool a 2-1 lead. In an amazing season, this one really stands out as his best one.
Like any low scoring sport, goals are what win soccer matches. Everybody has their own criteria when it comes to defining what makes a great goal. For some it can be a moment of individual brilliance by a gifted player, whilst, for others, it is the aesthetic of a team move that inspires them.
The context of a soccer match also counts. Whilst a great goal scored in a regular league can be memorable in its own right, one scored in a vital cup game, or in a championship decider has more weight because of its significance.