Hey guys, Sean hijacking the blog today in order to put a face with the words. That means these words will be the most beautiful words on your computer screen ever (just kidding). Anywho, I took over the blog and I decided to post about a sport we don’t devote much time to, but the rest of the world can’t get enough of. That’s right, I’m talking about soccer (or football to the rest of the world).
I know people say it’s boring, yet they watch baseball, or there’s not enough scoring, but they love hockey. Me? I love it and make no bones about it. I find it a beautiful and sometimes violent game. All the build up is part of the aesthetics and the I appreciate the bafflingly complex strategy of formations.
Regardless of what your personal stance is on soccer, we can all agree upon seeing an amazing feat of athletic ability. And what better way to demonstrate this with the best goals of the past year. The international governing body of soccer, FIFA, recently picked its goal of the year selecting the goal from Hamit Altintop of Turkey. This powerful shot taken on a volley (while the ball is in the air) pretty far from the goal gave Turkey a 2-0 lead over Kazakhstan in a Euro 2012 qualifier:
While it was a stellar goal, I thought there were more amazing strikes out there, so here are some of my favorites from 2010:
Siphiwe Tshabalala, South Africa: No better way to open these picks than with the first goal scored in the 2010 World Cup. The midfielder’s goal against Mexico for the World Cup’s host country was a blend of power and precision, a mix that makes soccer so enticing.
Matthew Burrows, Glentoran (Belfast, Northern Ireland): This goal, which became a YouTube sensation, came off the heel while moving away from the goal with his back turned. If this were HORSE…game over.
Linus Hallenius, Hammarby (Sweden): A great piece of individual magic, he catches it on his chest, taps it over the defender’s (and his own head), catches it in air, and hits the far corner of the goal. That’s pretty picture perfect.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona (Spain): This Argentinian has won back-to-back best player in the world awards. He has enough goals to make his own “And 1 Mix Tape” soccer version, so we’ll go with FIFA’s pick from his highlight reel. This is notable because Messi makes the entire defense look slow and inept. But they shouldn’t feel bad, he does that to every defense he faces.
Samir Nasri, Arsenal (England): This French wunderkind has shown flashes of potential, but has come into his own this season in the Premier League, with no better example than this league game against Fulham. His two goals are equally astonishing, the first where he jukes two defenders out of their shoes before blasting a goal past the keeper and the second where he manages to somehow get past three defenders, the keeper and make a tough-angled shot while falling down.
Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich (Germany): The Dutchman scored this slice of fried gold to give his club the lead during a crucial UEFA Champions League match against giants Manchester United, that sparked them on to the cup finals. Talk about ice water in the veins.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Netherlands: The defender scored this long range World Cup goal OUT OF NOWHERE. More notable about this score is that he is a defender, a position not made nor known for scoring goals, let alone a goal of this quality.
Didier Drogba, Chelsea (England): This is a bit of nepotism considering Chelsea is my favorite club in all of soccer, but Drogba is one of the world’s best goal scorers and deserves a nod of recognition for a season last year where he won the Golden Boot award (top scorer) in the English Premier League. He scored this beauty off his heel while turning around to gather a pass from a teammate. (Fast forward to about 2:29)