The year 2023 has been an incredible year for the beautiful game. It has been a rollercoaster ride filled with thrilling matches, unexpected upsets and individual moments of pure magic.
From thunderous long-range volleys to audacious solo runs and gravity-defying bicycle kicks, we’ve seen goals that have left us speechless and rewinding in awe.
We embark on a journey to relive the most unforgettable strikes of 2023, celebrating the artistry, the audacity and sheer brilliance of these goals etched into our memories.
Oleksandr Zinchenko vs Burnley
Arsenal welcomed Vincent Kompany’s Burnley to the Emirates Stadium and held a tentative 2-1 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the clash.
Leandro Trossard had given Arsenal the lead before Josh Brownhill equalised. William Saliba restored Arsenal’s lead, but they were wary of the spirited Clarets.
They needed a goal to ensure three points, and they got a worldie from left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko with only his second goal for the club.
The Ukrainian saw a loose ball in the Burnley box from a poorly cleared corner and pounced on it with a Paolo Di Canio-esque volley.
Zinchenko’s special strike helped the Gunners win and provided an unforgettable memory for Arsenal fans.
Alejandro Garnacho vs Everton
Manchester United’s Argentine talent Alejandro Garnacho stunned Everton in the opening minutes of their clash with one of the best goals the Premier League has ever witnessed.
Diogo Dalot was released down the right flank, and the Portuguese full-back sent a cross that drew an acrobatic effort.
Audacity is one thing Garnacho doesn’t lack, and it was on full display as he rose to meet the cross, contorted his body and hit the ball over his head before it nestled beyond the hapless Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.
The effort drew comparisons to Wayne Rooney’s similar effort against Manchester City in February 2011, and debates will rage on for years about which spectacular strike was better.
Ilkay Gundogan vs Manchester United
Manchester United faced off against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium, and Ilkay Gundogan made his side’s intent very clear in the first minute.
The City star met a knockdown from Kevin De Bruyne with a spectacular outside-of-the-boot volley that left David de Gea stranded in the United goal.
Gundogan’s goal is one of the best efforts you’ll ever see, and the confidence to hit the ball like that in a game of such magnitude shows otherworldly self-belief.
Harry Kane vs Darmstadt 98
Bundesliga big hitters Bayern Munich welcomed Darmstadt 98 for a chaotic clash, with players from both sides sent off early into the match.
Bayern claimed an incredible 8-0 win as Harry Kane grabbed a memorable hat-trick in Bavaria. His second goal of the trio was an absolute masterpiece.
Kane had spotted Darmstadt goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen off his line and fired a magnificent shot from his own half that beat the retreating shot-stopper.
It was an inch-perfect effort that deserves massive plaudits as one of the best goals of the year.
Jude Bellingham vs Barcelona
Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham has been one of the best players in the world this season, and his prowess was on full display during his first El Clasico clash against Barcelona.
The Catalans took the lead in the first half through Gundogan following his summer switch. Barca had the better chances and looked in control until Bellingham’s belting equaliser.
In the 67th minute, the England international picked up a loose ball from outside Barca’s box and blasted a terrific hit beyond the outstretched Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Bellingham added a late winner, but his stunning equaliser stands out as one of the best goals of the year.
Federico Dimarco vs Frosinone
Inter Milan boyhood fan and academy graduate Federico Dimarco has emerged as one of the best wing-backs in the world under Simone Inzaghi.
The 26-year-old has bagged three goals and four assists in 14 Serie A starts this season. The most impressive of the bunch was his incredible stunner against Frosinone last month.
Dimarco stepped into the opponent’s half and unleashed a fierce drive that caught everyone by surprise as it hit the back of the net, leaving the San Siro in awe of the magic it had witnessed.
Kaoru Mitoma vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma is a dazzler with the ball, but there was a lot of disbelief when he picked up the ball on the touchline against Wolverhampton Wanderers and went on one of his mazy runs.
The 26-year-old went into matrix mode as he blistered past Nelson Semedo before bursting through Wolves’ midfield and defence.
Mitoma showed the presence of mind and composure to finish beyond the onrushing Jose Sa and register a contender for the best goal of the year.
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