Zlatan Ibrahimovic's stunning bicycle kick from 30 yards out against England just missed the deadline for the 2012 Puskas Award nominations. But it got us thinking: what are the most memorable goals the 'Beautiful Game' has ever produced? Click through to find out:
Tim Howard: Everton v Bolton, 2012
Poor Adam Bogdan. The ultimate humiliation for any goalkeeper is to be beaten by his opposite number, which is exactly what happened to the Bolton youngster last season at Goodison Park. Tim Howard - and the wind - launched the ball from the Everton penalty box and, after a single bounce, it nestled in the Bolton net at the Gwladys Street End. Out of respect for his fellow netminder, Howard refused to celebrate as he was mobbed by his Everton teammates on his 250th Toffees appearance. Bogdan and Bolton had the last laugh, however, after leaving Merseyside with a 2-1 victory.
Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 2002 Champions League final
If one moment summed up Zinedine Zidane, it was this. Not the World Cup finals of 1998 or 2006, but the Champions League final at Hampden Park, Scotland in 2002. Roberto Carlos sent a hopeful punt from the left into the grey Glasgow sky and in the general direction of Zidane, who showed the timing, movement and poise only he could to send a sublime volley into the top corner of the Leverkusen net, settling the match in Madrid's favor.
Ronaldinho: England vs. Brazil, 2002 World Cup quarterfinal
Fluke or finesse? The English still claim that Ronaldinho did not mean to score the goal that ultimately knocked them out of the 2002 World Cup - a tournament Brazil went on to win - but the buck-toothed Brazilian insists there was nothing lucky about it. Rivaldo had canceled out Michael Owen's opener before Brazil won a free-kick 40 yards from goal, in line with the right side of the England box. Everyone expected an outswinging delivery, included David Seaman, who took a disastrous step forward, anticipating a cross. Instead, Ronaldino floated the ball over Seaman into the far top corner - an effort that reduced the gruff English keeper to tears after a 2-1 defeat.
Clarence Seedorf: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid, 1997
Atletico Madrid were happy to concede possession and retreat behind the ball as Clarence Seedorf stepped forward with the ball in the Madrid derby in 1997. With no teammate offering an option, the Dutchman should have just kept the ball and changed the point of attack. Instead, Seedorf smashed the ball flat and true over the visiting goalkeeper, who had been conned by the vicious swerve generated from the Real star's right foot.
Pele: Brazil vs. Sweden, 1958 World Cup Final
Pele was just 17 years old when he starred for the Selecao in the 1958 World Cup. It didn't take long for him to make himself world famous, scoring the lone goal in a quarterfinal win over Wales and a hat-trick versus France in the semifinal. But his first of two goals against Sweden in the final will go down as his breakthrough moment. Bringing down a cross with a sweet first touch in the box, Pele gently lobbed the ball over a defender and volleyed it low and hard past the Sweden backstop for a breathtaking goal.
Wayne Rooney: Man United vs. Man City, 2010/11
The battle for supremecy in Manchester was evenly poised at Old Trafford in February 2011, with City having had the better of a derby clash which was tied at 1-1 heading into the dying stages. Only 13 minutes remained as Nani curled a hopeful cross from the right, which took a deflection off the back of a City defender. Rooney reacted quicker than any opponent and shifted his feet before launching himself at the diverted delivery. Joe Hart, much like his defense, clearly underestimated Rooney. The City and England stopper stood rooted to the spot as the United talisman thundered a stunning volley over his left shoulder in to the top corner of the net. United won the game, the local bragging rights and, ultimately, the title.
Marco van Basten: Netherlands vs. Soviet Union, 1988 European Championship Final
Marco van Basten had already done his best to make sure Euro '88 would be known as his tournament, netting a hat-trick against England and the late winner over hosts Germany in the semifinal. But with the Dutch leading 1-0 in the second half of the final, van Basten added some extra gusto to his Euro performance. Lingering on the right wing as the Dutch were on the counter, van Basten seemingly waited an eternity before Arnold Muhren’s deep, high cross dropped to him at an almost impossible angle to score from. He does anyway, with this magnificent volley into the far corner. That makes it 2-0, and the Netherlands win their first (and thus far only) internationalt title.
Roberto Carlos: France vs. Brazil, 1997
Many pundits have labeled Roberto Carlos' strike against France in Le Tournoi as 'the goal that defied physics'. Fabian Barthez felt as secure as any goalkeeper could when facing Carlos' rocket-launcer of a left foot, with a wall protecting him and the France goal. The France stopper had little to worry about as Carlos smashed the ball well wide of the four-man Les Blues barrier, but as those who put themselves in the line of danger turned around, they saw the ball bend wickedly back towards goal and sneak inside the post, leaving Barthez stood and stunned.
Dennis Bergkamp: Arsenal vs. Newcastle, 2002
A legend at Arsenal, Dennis Bergkamp showed us everything that's possible with just two touches against Newcastle United in 2002. When teammate Robert Pires fired a pass towards the Dutchman at the edge of the area, Bergkamp had to call on his famous creativity to get around Newcastle's Nikos Dabizas. As the ball came flying towards his left foot, in one fluid, breathtaking motion, Bergkamp flicked the ball with his right foot to one side of Dabizas, rolled around the other side, outmuscled Dabizas to get back on the ball, and cooly placed the ball past the goalkeeper. No goal sums up Bergkamps' vision, intelligence, touch and clinical finishing in one master stroke more than this one.
Diego Maradona: Argentina v England, 1986 World Cup
Only four minutes after scoring with the 'Hand of God', Maradona infuriated England's defense even further by beating almost the entire backline before rolling the ball into an empty net. The Argentine genius received the ball ten meters inside his own half, with little danger apparent to the English. Ten seconds later, Maradona had left Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher, Terry Fenwick and goalkeeper Peter Shilton for dead and England's hopes in tatters.