From Cristiano Ronaldo belter to Champions League wonderstrike, SunSport's Dave Kidd picks the best goals he's ever seen

THERE are rare occasions when a goal is so wonderful that seasoned old hacks in press boxes, with no allegiance to either side, get off their seats or simply stare at one another and shout out ‘**** me!’ 

Bernardo Silva’s strike against Aston Villa earlier this month was one of those. 

What makes a truly great goal? A belting thunderbolt, a solo dribble, a beautifully-constructed team effort? 

Well, Silva’s is up there with the very best I’ve ever witnessed first hand, because the thumping left-footed volley was brilliant enough, without the outstanding end-to-end teamwork which preceded it. 

Here is a list of the best seven I’ve ever seen in the flesh, in reverse order – a random mix, off the top of my head, because these are only goals from games I happened to be at and they’re the ones which stick in my mind.  

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United v Fulham, Premier League, 2007)

Fourteen years later, Ronaldo is banging them in for United again but he doesn’t score goals like this late winner any more. 

The young Portuguese collects the ball in his own half, presses down on the fuel injection, gallops past one Fulham player and hurdles another down the left touchline, then cuts between two more defenders and drills home low into the far corner.

It was a key goal in a United title-winning campaign and a precursor of Ronaldo’s rise to potential GOAT status at Real Madrid.  

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Matt Taylor (Portsmouth v Everton, Premier League, 2006)

There is a 50-50 tackle in the centre circle, the ball loops up and Pompey midfielder Matt Taylor belts a left footed volley from 40 yards which lifts and dips at a rollercoaster angle, leaving Everton keeper Tim Howard rooted to the spot on his six-yard line. 

Fratton Park is a glorious, rickety, old-school din palace. This goal was met with a split-second of pin-drop silence, as the crowd’s brains caught up with their eyes, before the place descended into bedlam.  

David Dunn (England Under-21s v Holland, European Championship play-off, 2001) 

The only goal on this list that you cannot Google was scored by young Blackburn midfielder Dunn in Utrecht – a diagonal dribble which begins somewhere near the intersection of the halfway line and touchline.

As Dunn saunters past the entire Dutch team before slotting home, there are shades of John Barnes in the Maracana or Diego Maradona in the Azteca – and The Sun’s back-page headline the following day reads ‘MaraDunna’. 

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United v Manchester City, Premier League, 2011)

This stunning bicycle kick is probably the most famous goal on this list and a hugely significant one in a Manchester derby just as the ‘noisy neighbours’ of City were beginning to challenge for supremacy.

Rooney had issued a transfer request in a bid to force a move to City earlier in the season but after being handed a new contract he stayed and secured a 2-1 derby victory with this acrobatic overhead effort – perhaps the best of his 253 United goals – from a Nani cross. 

Some say he ‘shinned it’. Those of us who were there say ‘who cares?’ 

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham v Crystal Palace, Premier League, 2013)

This is the only goal on the list which I paid to see – I was in the away end at Selhurst Park – but despite my allegiances, there can’t be too much bias at play as it was nominated for FIFA’s Puskas Award for the best goal of the year worldwide. 

Right-back Sascha Riether plants a lofted pass down the right wing, Swiss winger Kasami makes a diagonal run to the corner of the box, chests downs and volleys into the far corner of the net, with elements of Marco Van Basten’s masterpiece in the 1988 Euros Final. 

Kasami wasn’t all that good, and only ever scored three times for Fulham, but he will always be remembered for this. Even though the season ended in relegation. 

Bernardo Silva (Manchester City v Aston Villa, Premier League, 2021)

The move begins with Riyad Mahrez, with his back to goal in the City penalty box, escaping danger with a saucy backheel to Fernandinho who picks out Gabriel Jesus with a visionary long pass. 

The Brazilian forward spots Bernardo Silva unmarked in the centre and delivers a sweet cross met with a crashing first-time left-footed volley from Bernardo. 

What a move, what a strike – Pep Guardiola was so chuffed with this goal that he burst out laughing on the bench.  

Mario Mandzukic (Juventus v Real Madrid, Champions League Final, 2017)

The best goal I’ve ever seen live – again it combines those elements of outstanding teamwork followed by a wonder-strike finish, from a Croatian better known as a target man rather than a scorer of beauties. 

A crossfield ball is played out of the Juve defence and three more players touch the ball before it next hits the ground, in the back of the Real net. 

Alex Sandro, on the left-hand edge of the penalty area, volleys a cross to Gonzalo Higuain who chests down and cushions a pass to Mandzukic, back to goal, who controls with his chest and executes an overhead kick which beats Keylor Navas and finds the top corner of the net for a magnificent equaliser.

If Juventus hadn’t lost 4-1 in this final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, it would be better remembered for the absolute gem it is. 

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