The beautiful game has long produced stunning goals, whether it be a delightful chip, a curler into the top corner or a sweetly struck dipping volley. In amongst all these wonderful strikes however there are some goals you can scarcely believe managed to find their way into the net. Goals like Liverpool’s recent (2nd December 2018) winner against Everton for example!
Such strikes leave one group of fans left to curse their rotten luck but for the rest of us, we can simply laugh at their misfortune. Here we take a look at the top 10 most improbable looking goals scored from around the globe in order of their downright ridiculousness.
10. Stan Collymore v Blackburn Rovers (1996)
Tim Flowers did everything right as he prepared to collected Stan Collymore’s tame effort from 25 yards out. The Rovers keeper had his body fully behind the ball, prepared to scoop up the ball with his hands. Just before doing so however the ball opted to take a completely unexpected route, jumping up high after hitting a bobble in the ground.
With absolutely no time to react, the man between the sticks could only watch on in horror as the ball looped over his shoulder and into the goal. Collymore to his credit opted not to celebrate such a freak goal while Flowers was left to interrogate the piece of turf that had betrayed him.
Happy 50th birthday to Tim Flowers, the original and best bobble-blamer pic.twitter.com/VEXmR0yb7V
— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) 3 February 2017
9. Chris Wood v Watford (2013)
Leicester broke the deadlock in this match 10 minutes in thanks to the face of Chris Wood. The Foxes striker closed down Watford keeper Manuel Almunia as he went to clear the ball but there appeared to be no real danger. Around seven yards separated the two players when the ball was kicked and Wood had already begun to slow down his charge forward. The Spanish goalie had plenty to aim at but could only direct his kick into the face of the nearby striker. Luck would not be on Almunia’s side either as the ball went straight into the corner of the net, leaving him to rue his complacency.
8. Tomas Brolin v Sheffield Wednesday (1995)
There are many who believe that Tomas Brolin is up there as one of the worst signings Leeds have ever made. His shambles of a debut goal for the club rather appropriately summed up his time at Elland Road then. The Swede did well to win a header from a floated cross but it ended up being more of a loose touch than shot. With the ball still alive, he raced to it, getting there narrowly ahead of keeper Kevin Pressman. The ball ricocheted off both players and ended up rolling towards goal but Graham Hyde was there to clear.
Absolutely anywhere would have done for the Owls defender apart from where he put it: the head of Brolin who laid flat on the floor after his coming together with Pressman. Despite knowing nothing about the goal, the Leeds striker wheeled off in celebration, although it would be a game his side ended up losing 6-2, also a fitting metaphor for his time at the club.
7. Phillip Schobesberger v Viktoria Plzen (2015)
Rapid Vienna saw off Viktoria Plzen in this Europa League group stage match thanks to this complete freak goal. Phillip Schobesberger had already scored for his team but the home side equalised with 20 minutes ago, leaving Rapid to push for a winner. In their search for a goal, Stefan Schwab sent Schobesberger clean through with just the keeper to beat after a wonderfully weighted through ball. It was the sort of opportunity players dream of but the midfielder completely fluffed his lines.
Or did he? When about to pull the trigger, the Austrian slipped over, making it seem like the chance had gone but only for a split second. On his way down, a flailing boot caught the ball, completely wrong footing goalkeeper Matus Kozacik who could only watch helplessly as it comically rolled into the net. Or not so comically for Kozacik.
6. Steven Gerrard v Bolton (2008)
Liverpool are heavily featured on this list and their second entry comes courtesy of club legend Steven Gerrard. The Reds travelled to the Reebok Stadium to take on Bolton and it took just 10 minutes for the visitors to take the lead. In what was a fairly speculative effort, the Liverpool skipper tried his luck from nearly 25 yards out. His shot was sailing nearly a yard wide of the near post but Jussi Jaaskelainen was determined to get his hands on the ball. The Finn did just that but made a complete hash of things as the initially off target shot ended up looping up off his gloves a good yard in front of the line, before spinning backwards into an empty net.
5. Adam Czerkas v Wisla Plock (2007)
A long boot up front was met by Adam Czerkas just in the Wisla Plock half but he was unable to get the ball under control. Not one to give up a seemingly lost cause, the Odra number 10 closed down last man Patryk Rachwal as he attempted a big clearance. The Pole connected cleanly with his punt up field but could only directed it onto the back of Czerkas. From full 20 yards out the ball then floated over a helpless Robert Gubiec in goal for what turned out to be the only goal of the game. If that wasn’t bad enough, defeat for Wisla in this season finale saw them relegated to second tier of Polish football.
4. Cha Young-Hwan v Kamatamare Sanuki (2015)
The chance to equaliser from a corner appeared to have been missed as the ball fell to the feet of Kamatamre Sanuki defender, Ryosuke Kijima. Certainly Cha Young-Hwan felt that way as he began his journey back to his own half to help snuff out any potential counter attack. The attempted clearance ended up hitting the Zeiwgen Kanazawa man in the back of the leg though. From here the ball made its way, nearly a full 18 yards, towards the bottom corner. With so many players crowding the box, keeper Kenta Shimizu was unsighted and ultimately couldn’t react in time to claw out the highly fortuitous equaliser.
3. Divock Origi v Everton (2018)
Picture the scene, a Merseyside derby is heading into the final few seconds with the scoreline at 0-0. Everton were all set for a valuable and well deserved point against their local rivals away from home but then disaster struck in one of the most unbelievable goals the Premier League has ever seen.
It stemmed from Virgil van Dijk wildly miscuing a shot that appeared to be heading over the bar. Convinced it was going to go out for a goal kick, the Dutchman began trudging back to his usual spot in the heart of defence.
The slowly looping shot did not end up going over however, instead it provided Divock Origi with the easiest of tap-ins after hitting the crossbar not once but twice. Everton’s 6ft 1inch keeper Jordan Pickford jumped to catch the ball as it headed towards the woodwork but inexplicably failed to get a touch on it. With the shot stopper left grasping air, the ball hit the bar again before falling down on the head of Origi who was the only player on the pitch alive to the danger.
2. Domenico Zampaglione v AC Tuttocuoio (2014)
We are lucky to have any footage of this goal given that it involved two teams from the fourth tier of Italian football. The 350 hardy souls that attended the wet and windy match in Tuscany were able see first-hand the most ridiculous goal they are every likely to see.
The home side, Tuttocuoio, played a free-kick short in order to set up one of their players for a long range effort. Zampaglione raced out to block the effort, hurling himself with both shins forward in order to do so. Not only did the midfielder succeed but his block ended up travelling around 75 yards with the assistance of some wind and straight into the opposition’s goal.
This completely accidental goal decided the match, leaving Tuttocuoio boss Massimiliano Alvini to tear his hair out at full time. He called it absurd and while in his foul mood he also took time to lay into the awful state of the pitch. Come the end of the season only two points separated the two sides and as luck would have it, the two extra points this freak goal handed Vigor Lamezia was enough to secure promotion, while Tuttocuoio faced a relegation play-off battle.
Darren Bent v Liverpool (2009)
Darren Bent’s crisp volley was heading straight into the arms of Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina until its deflection off a stray beach ball that had rolled onto the pitch. The Reds protested the goal but referee Mike Jones was happy to award it despite the interference of a foreign object. This was the incorrect decision and punishment for the high-profile mistake was demotion to the Championship for Jones the following weekend. It turned out to be the only goal of the game but calls for an unprecedented re-match were quickly dismissed.
Bent claimed the goal but ultimately it was the Liverpool-crested ball that ought to have been credited on the scoresheet. There has never been a goal like it witnessed in a professional match making this our number one choice on the list of the most ridiculously lucky goals. What makes it even more special is that the ball was actually thrown onto the pitch by a Reds fan. The then 16 year old Callum Campbell claimed it was his worst nightmare but maybe now he can have a giggle about it with the rest of us.