December is here, which means we’re beginning to review and reflect on this year’s most stellar and memorable sporting moments. What better way to start our day (and end our year) than taking a look at the great, fantastic, incredible, literally too-good-for-words golazos del año scored by cracks around the world? I assure you – even if you disagree with some of my decisions, you will not be disappointed after watching these 10 ridiculous soccer goals.
Jhonatan (Operário PR) vs. Nacional PR
Soccer Match: March 8, 2015
2 – 1 win (Ended up being game-winning goal)
Okay. I realize that this golazo was somewhat of a fluke – a rainy day, a pitch with standing water, awkward bounces and unfortunate posts – and that chance goals kind of go against the essence of Goal of the Year lists. But just look at Jhonatan’s joy after scoring from his own 18. We’re all happier people after watching this strike go in, I guarantee it.
Daniela Montoya (Colombia) vs. Mexico
Soccer Match: June 9, 2015
1 – 1 draw
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup produced some sensational goals, but this one from Colombia’s Daniela Montoya is particularly special for a number of reasons. For one, the perfect placement and power that she gets on this one-touch strike into the opposite upper 90 is stunning! It also marks her country’s first-ever World Cup goal. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.
Paul Aguilar (Mexico) vs. USA
Soccer Match: October 10, 2015
3 – 2 win
118th minute. Sky ball into the box and an impossible angle, but Paul Aguilar DGAF. This is USA–Mexico, after all. Hitting a one-touch volley is tough enough – let alone in a partidazo against your bitter rivals – but Aguilar gets the job done. The Rose Bowl was a pressure cooker on max heat on October 10, and Aguilar’s goal was the explosion that El Tri needed to come out on top.
Neymar (Barcelona) vs. Villarreal
Soccer Match: November 8, 2015
3 – 0 win
Remezcla wrote about this goal immediately after it happened because, well, it is fantastic and also quite mind-boggling. The control that Brazilian phenom and Ballon d’Or finalist Neymar puts on show in order to bring this ball down, flick it over his head and slam it into the goal is truly beyond me. This list is almost too crazy; I just don’t know how to do this wizardry justice.
James Rodríguez (Real Madrid) vs. Málaga
Soccer Match: April 18, 2015
3 – 1 win
You were kidding yourself if you thought for a minute that any list created by me would fail to include at least one goal from Real Madrid (and/or Arsenal). This goal is just gorgeous; James one, two – keeps running – one, two – running some more – and *SMACK*. Goal. Upper 90. Double give-and-go action?! Are you kidding me?!
Wendell Lira (Goianésia) vs. Atlético GO
Soccer Match: March 11, 2015
2 – 1 win
A finalist for 2015 Goal of the Year, this goal has a little bit of everything: superb team play, great passing combinations, and insane individual ability. I don’t know how Brazilian striker Wendell Lira makes this look so easy, but he does so flawlessly and with flair. Also, would this list be even remotely credible if it didn’t include at least one bicycle kick?
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) vs. Athletic Bilbao
Soccer Match: May 30, 2015
3 – 0 win
There’s not much one can say about this goal, aside from the fact that it’s just Messi doing what Messi does: making magic look mundane because he does outrageous things like this so damn often. He gets the ball near the half, somehow manages to cut his way through three defenders, blows past another, and finally tucks the ball into the near corner of the net. There’s no doubt that it will be this year’s Puskás winner.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) vs. Bayern Munich
Soccer Match: May 6, 2015
3 – 0 win
The pure embarrassment factor of this goal was enough to put it in my top three (ahead of Messi’s Puskás-winning run down the wing against Athletic) and make it the top cheeky individual effort of the year. It’s one that’s stuck with me for months – whether it be through Vines, or simply anytime I see Jerome Boateng and Bayern Munich take the pitch. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to live down this absurd ankle break.
Ernesto Cristaldo (The Strongest) vs. Club Jorge Wilstermann
Soccer Match: May 17, 2015
2 – 2 draw
So you probably weren’t expecting a Bolivian league strike to make the top three, but this golazo is just spectacular. I watched – and included – a lot of long-distance blasts in my original shortlist of 50+ golazos, but this one by Paraguayan attacker Ernesto Cristaldo stands above and beyond the rest. It’s an absolutely thunderous crack from the center circle with more power than the rest of the top 10 combined. He winds up and rips it into the upper 90. Me: ?
Giovanni Simeone (Banfield) vs. Crucero del Norte
Soccer Match: September 20, 2015
2 – 0 win
There’s something so simple and beautiful about this terrific team goal. I just can’t stop watching it! It’s at once mesmerizing and electrifying in its methodical magic. Seven consecutive one-touch passes (seven!), one cool cut, and a sweet finish from Argentine forward Giovanni Simeone (in striking contrast to his animated, often crazy dad Diego Simeone). Team goals over individual brilliance forever and always.