Messi does a ‘Messi’

Coming off a loss that saw Barcelona drop out of first place, Lionel Messi quickly turned the page with a stunning free kick against Almeria:

Remember when Messi didn’t win the Ballon d’Or?

Next time you feel down or that life is unfair, just remember this: we have at least ten more years of Messi. Ten more years of his free kicks. We are so spoiled.


Jonathan Soriano, Ricardo Quaresma score ridiculous golazos

Austria’s Salzburg delivered athe most stunning Europa League result on Thursday night, defeating Dutch champions Ajax 3-0 in Amsterdam. One of Salzburg’s many heroes on their historic night: Jonathan Soriano.

The 28-year-old Spanish striker scored a spectacular goal from the halfway line which caught Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen off guard. As a result, Soriano’s thunderous boom puts Salzburg in the driver’s seat in their two-legged Round of 32 affair.

Not to be outdone, Porto’s Ricardo Quaresma — once touted as Portugal’s next prodigy — reminded everyone why he earned stints (albeit very short stays) with Inter Milan and Chelsea through his mediocre career.

The former Barcelona flameout whipped a curling strike in off the far post from 20 yards out after beating Eintracht Frankfurt right back Sebastian Jung on the wing.

The goal was not enough, as Eintracht Frankfurt came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Porto. Quaresma’s curler, though, was truly mesmerizing:


Messi, Neymar all warmed up for Manchester City

Manchester City, consider this your final warning.

Lionel Messi and Neymar polished their shooting boots ahead of Tuesday’s highly anticipated UEFA Champions League duel (live, FOX Sports 1, 2 p.m. ET), putting on a show in Barcelona’s 6-0 stomping of Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Messi scored two goals on Saturday, the first of which was a sublime lob over Rayo’s keeper. It was Messi’s 336th career goal for Barcelona in all competitions, a new Spanish record for most goals scored by a player for one club. He later added his 337th.

By the way, Messi is still only 26. Yeah.

Merely 324 goals behind Messi on Barca’s all-time scoring list lies Neymar, who returned to the pitch for the first time since injuring his ankle last month. To make sure he hadn’t lost his touch the past several weeks, Neymar unleashed from long distance in the 89th minute, resulting in this:

City: beware.


Bored Zlatan practices scoring with his knee

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored more golazos in the past 12 months than most players — mortals — achieve in their lifetime. Or in their dreams. So when it comes to practice, you can understand if Zlatan gets bored pretty easily during shooting drills. Like, what’s the challenge? There isn’t one. Unless you dare to Zlatan, and try to score with different body parts.

Still, not even that seems to be a problem for Zlatan. Ibra is clearly just as lethal with his kneecaps as with his feet.

Man, we’re sure going to miss him in Brazil.


New angle of “Goal of the Century” discovered

We can all thank the power of the Internet for a rare, new look at one of the most memorable goals ever scored. Though the video above was first posted onto YouTube in April, it hasn’t made the rounds in the blogosphere until now (and shame on all of us for that).

Diego Maradona’s second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup — no, not this one — was voted the “Goal of the Century” back in 2002 by FIFA.com voters. This never-before-seen (well, posted online) angle of the goal, originating from Argentinian television, was shot from behind the net of England’s Peter Shilton.

Finally, we get an idea of the nightmares that Shilton must have been battling all his life. It’s also shot in super slow motion, so you can really appreciate the embarrassment Maradona caused to, in order: Peter Beardsley, Peter Reid, Terry Butcher (twice) and Terry Fenwick.


Cristiano Ronaldo scores rocket blast in Betis romp

Hmmm, maybe this is why Cristiano Ronaldo won the FIFA Ballon d’Or?

Not even a full week after winning his second career World Player of the Year award, Ronaldo is firing on all cylinders again. He scored midweek in the Copa del Rey, and waited all of ten minutes to open the scoring on Saturday against Betis. And what a goal it was — a scorcher from distance that froze goalkeeper Stephan Andersen.

Ronaldo now has four goals in five matches in 2014, and seems primed to make another run at the Ballon d’Or this year.

Heck, even on the rare occasion CR7 misfires, it turns into gold. Check out this bicycle-kick assist on Alvaro Morata’s goal to make it 5-0 for Real Madrid.

Betis - Real Madrid 0-5 Gol Morata 90’ by realmadridplay


Best Goals of the FA Cup Third Round


Ah, the magic of the FA Cup.

The world’s oldest association football competition, traditionally rich with upsets every season, delivered the goods again this weekend. The stunner of the Third Round? Swansea knocked out Premier League champion Man United for their first-ever win at Old Trafford, thanks to Wilfried Bony’s 90th-minute goal:

There were more brilliant moments on Saturday. 

Minnows Rochdale moved into the Fourth Round of the competition for the first time in eleven years after upsetting Leeds United. The League Two minnows held a slim 1-0 lead over Leeds before Ian Henderson sealed the win with this exquisite volley:

Elsewhere, Oliver Norwood scored a perfect free kick to help Championship side Huddersfield Town to a 3-2 win, avoiding a major upset at the hands of non-league Grimsby Town:

And in the big match of the weekend, Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky stole the ball from Spurs defender Danny Rose at the halfway line and chipped keeper Hugo Lloris masterfully on the ensuing breakaway:


Spanish futsal player scores brilliant heel flick goal

In a Spanish futsal match between Burela and Deportivo Xota, Jorge Matamoros scored one of the most spectacular goals of the year. Receiving a pass from the halfway line, Matamoros scored on a reflexive backheel that lobbed the keeper, who was as dumbfounded by the brilliant touch as the commentator, and as you most likely are.

Go on, watch it again. And a few more times.

H/T 101GG


CFR Cluj submit weirdest goal of the year

In football, we occasionally encounter golazos scored from 50 yards out, or see unthinkable fails from just a few feet away. But have you ever seen both happen in just a matter of seconds?

On Monday, CFR Cluj fans went from stunned to downright flabbergasted after defender Vasile Maftei whiffed at a ball in the six-yard box, only for his teammate Damjan Dokovic to inexplicably score from forty yards just moments later.

After Maftei’s brutal miss, Cluj got the ball back out around the halfway line. Dokovic seemed to simply try to boot it back up-field into the danger area, but his ball ended up taking a generous hop and bounced over the goalkeeper for an incredibly lucky opening goal.

Profiting from this bizarre twist of fate, Cluj went on to beat Sageata Navodari rather comfortably, 6-1.

H/T Pies


Dortmund’s Bundesliga hopes crash and burn as Bayern continue record streak

Bayer Leverkusen beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on the road Saturday to leave BVB six points behind them in the fight for second place in the Bundesliga. Dortmund are now a whopping ten points behind Bayern Munich, practically closing the book on Dortmund’s already slim title hopes before the turn of the calendar year.

Heung-Min Son provided the only goal of the game as Dortmund also lost key midfielders Nuri Sahin and Sven Bender to ankle injuries, further decimating Jurgen Klopp’s squad depth.

A couple hours earlier, Bayern all but clinched the midseason “title” before the Bundesliga heads into its winter break, blowing out Werder Bremen 7-0 on the road. It extended Bayern’s record unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 40 games.

Where does that streak rank among the longest all-time unbeaten runs in Europe’s top domestic leagues? Here are the five teams that still top Bayern’s mark:

  • 62 - Celtic (Scotland) 1915-1917
  • 58 - AC Milan (Italy) 1991-1993
  • 56 - Benfica (Portugal) 1976-1978
  • 52 - Ajax (Netherlands) 1994-1996
  • 49 - Arsenal (England) 2003-2004