What an incredible year of football we’ve had. From the Premier League to the Championship, to the Champions League and Euro 2020. We have already shared our favourite games from 2021, but now it is time to share our favourite goals, the reason why football is so brilliant. There have been plenty of screamers, skilful and just lovely team-worked goals. The Sportsman have decided these 10 goals as the standouts of the year.
Undoubtedly the best goal scored at Euro 2020 as Scotland were beaten by Czech Republic at Hampden Park and striker Schick scored an outrageous strike from the half-way line to catch out goalkeeper David Marshall. It was such an audacious effort that you had to believe the chances of it being successful were slim, but it was executed to perfection and a great strike to kick off this list.
Mexican Sanchez scored a stunning solo goal for Queretaro against rivals San Luis in the last minute to snatch the three points. She picked up the ball on the left wing, dazzled her way to the edge of the area, brushing off four defenders before hitting a stunning effort that nestled in the top corner.
This stunning strike came in the dying moments at the Bernabeu as Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol beat Real Madrid in the Champions League with a sensational striker from Sebastien Thill. The ball bounced kindly for the midfielder on the edge of the penalty area and he struck the ball perfectly first time and it rocketed into the net.
The Scottish Manchester City star scored this sublime effort in a derby match against Manchester United. She did brilliantly to pick the ball up outside the box and drag it away from an opposition player and into her path for a shot on goal. Noticing the goalkeeper off her line, she went for the lob and pulled it off, a truly remarkable goal in the biggest of games in the domestic calendar.
The Argentinian may not have had the most fruitful career in England with Tottenham Hotspur, but he could score some truly wonderful goals with rabonas. This particular one came in the North London Derby against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. From about 13 yards out, the midfielder tried his luck to catch the Gunners out and he did just that, finding the bottom corner with his fancy strike. The biggest crime for this goal was that it was when fans were unable to attend.
Arguably the most memorable goal for anyone in England this year. Harry Kane’s goal at Wembley Stadium to put England 2-0 up against Germany in the last 16 of Euro 2020. It may have been a typical goal involving a cross and diving header to beat Manuel Neuer, but this goal was great for its meaning, and it sparked a real belief of just how far the Three Lions could go in the tournament. The celebrations were wild and widespread across the nation and it was needed after a tough year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another Euro 2020 strike makes the cut, and this one came against England in the semi-final against Denmark. Young Damsgaard opened up the scoring at Wembley with a stunning free-kick which for a time carried on the Danish fairytale which sparked into life following the cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen in their opening game of the tournament. The response Denmark showed after the tragic circumstances of how their campaign started will stick fondly in our memories and it was incredible to see them progress so far.
The Egyptian wizard has scored some mesmerising goals for Liverpool over the years, and this one came against title rivals Manchester City in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Anfield. He picked up the ball on the edge of the area on the right and quickly turned before using his quick feet to take a handful of defenders out of the equation before firing past Ederson. It was truly a breath-taking goal to watch live.
In recent years we have been blessed with scorpion kicks from the likes of Olivier Giroud, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Valentino Lazaro. The newest edition comes from Groningen's Ngonge who scored this sublime effort against AZ Alkmaar. The attacker anticipates a cross in from the left and halts his movement to make the acrobatic connection and guide the ball into the top corner. Delightful.
Yes, that’s right, Salah makes the list again and it was another goal similar to his one against Man City, but this time against Watford. Not many better players in the world are as good on the ball than the Egyptian in tight situations and once again he weaved his way through defenders, planting one to the floor again before curling his shot into the far corner at Vicarage Road – sending the away end into pandemonium.