Top 10 Goals of 2014!

The winner of the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of the year will be announced on 12th January, with Irishwoman Stephanie Roche down to the last three.

FIFA’s award focuses on goals scored between October 2013 and September 2014, but we’ve compiled a top ten of our favourites from this calendar year – which unfortunately doesn’t include Roche’s sublime effort from late 2013.

Robin van Persie, Holland v Spain
Germany’s obliteration of Brazil in the World Cup semi-final will remain the defining moment of this year’s tournament but van Persie’s otherworldly header is destined to become an iconic moment in showreels of the competition for years to come.

Daley Blind’s cross was sublime but, while most mere mortals would have taken the ball down, RVP flung himself into the air to arch a stunning header past the hapless Iker Casillas.

Erik Lamela, Tottenham v Asteras Tripolis
The Argentine has flattered to deceive at White Hart Lane since his big-money move from Roma, but his infamous rabona goal in October offered a glimpse of the undoubted talent he possesses.

Lamela’s audacious strike overshadowed a Harry Kane hat-trick (and stint in goals) due to its sheer improbability and rareness. The left-footed Lamela somehow wrapped his better peg around his standing right before decisively dispatching the ball past an unsuspecting keeper.

Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal v Galatasary
A pure “how did he do that?” moment, the Welshman’s recent strike in Arsenal’s Champions League match in Istanbul was genuine class from a player who’s failed to live up to the high standards he set last season.

Ramsey’s first-time strike from a clearance on the half-volley took just 1.1 seconds to leave his boot and travel the 29 yards past a bewildered Galatasary keeper. The goal shocked even his own team-mates, while former Gunner Paul Merson admitted he’d “never seen anything like it” in his life.

Even more impressive is the fact that it was on his weaker foot.

Jeremy Menez, AC Milan v Parma
The sides shared nine goals in this match, none better than the eighth from Menez.

Having rounded the Parma keeper, he still had a lot of work to do with his back to goal but his stupendous lofted back-heel was stunning in its execution.

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United v West Ham
There wasn’t much to celebrate at United during David Moyes’ unfortunate tenure, but Rooney’s 57-yard strike against the Hammers was one glimmer of light in a torrid season.

The United captain’s strike from the half-way line evoked memories of David Beckham’s effort against Wimbledon in 1996, and it was fitting that the former United number seven was in attendance to witness Rooney’s sensational effort.

Gareth Bale, Real Madrid v Barcelona
This was possibly the moment the Welshman convinced Madrid fans that his world transfer record fee from Spurs was warranted.

That is came in the closing stages of the Copa del Rey final against arch-rivals Barcelona made it even sweeter.

Bale’s stunning individual effort won the cup for his new side, one missing their regular talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. His stunning burst of speed and determination, despite at one stage being forced off the pitch, was finished with aplomb by the £86 million man.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG v Bastia
The Swede won the Puskas Award last year but this effort from Ligue 1 failed to make the FIFA final three this year.

However, it’s a remarkable finish, displaying the impudence typical of the striker – a back-heel nonchalantly dispatched by his right heel that few other footballers would even attempt.

James Rodriguez, Colombia v Uruguay
The World Cup Golden Boot winner’s effort is also on the FIFA final shortlist and it’s easy to see why.

This goal announced the Colombian on the world stage and was voted Goal of the Tournament. The Real Madrid new boy controlled the ball on his chest before swiveling and firing an unstoppable rocket into the net via Uruguay’s crossbar.

Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid v Getafe
No best goals list would be complete without a bicycle kick and this effort from Chelsea’s new striker certainly warrants its inclusion.

Costa has scored some super goals in 2014 but this grafity-defying strike is probably the pick of the bunch.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid v Valencia
The goal machine just had to make the list, even based on the sheer volume of goals he’s plundered in 2014.

This incredible backheel volley, which rescued Real a point in stoppage time against Valencia, won La Liga Goal of the Year.