I thought we should have a thread in which we post and discuss different articles that dont go under a certain category.Its summer time,we have lots of time...Please post the interesting articles you read here.
The Joy of Six: Great finishers
From Gerd Müller to Romario, we celebrate the pick of a supposedly dying breed
Romario celebrates scoring for Brazil against Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup. It's one of the disputed 1,000 or so that he has scored. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Empics
NB: this list does not purport to be definitive. It lists some of the best, not the best. Please bear this in mind before you leave comments about the inexplicable exclusion of Jimmy Greaves/fat Ronaldo/thin Ronaldo/Jason Lee
1. Gerd Müller
Great goalscorers tend to specialise in ugly goals. The greatest goalscorer of them all, Gerd Müller, dealt in goals that were Elephant Man-ugly – and they were the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. His body would splay into Twister positions before he struck the ball at goal; he would often scuff it almost apologetically past the goalkeeper and watch it dribble over the line; he would appear out of nowhere, as if from a puff of dust, to smuggle the ball in from a couple of centimetres; sometimes he would score while on all fours, or hopelessly off balance. To do it once might be seen as a fluke; to do it 438 times at club level and a further 68 for West Germany – in just 62 games – brooked no argument. In his field, he was as far ahead of the rest as Don Bradman.
Müller was also a preposterous hero. He had a huge backside and looked hideously unnatural, but he more than any other footballer in history was blessed with a supernatural awareness of where to run, when to run there, and how to get the ball past the keeper. He could have been a case for Mulder and Scully. His signature goal, the winner in the 1974 World Cup final was textbook Müller: ostensibly ungainly but devastatingly effective. He hardly ever hit the side-netting; he didn't need to, because something told him that this man was running here and that the keeper had put his weight on that foot, so if he just squirted it past him on that side it would go in. It was eerie. He was also impossibly cool; when he retired, for example, he embraced the good things in life and grew a beard that made him look like Richie Tenenbaum. In front of goal, he would always find the needle in the hay.
If you can be bothered to find it, there is a near-perfect essay on Müller by David Winner in the June 2008 edition of FourFourTwo
It is often said that, when a striker is through one-on-one, big, onrushing goalkeepers can be an overwhelmingly intimidating sight. Romario inverted that thrillingly. He was only 5ft 6in, but never has there been a scarier prospect for goalkeepers in one-on-one situations. He was not just content to score; he wanted not only to vaccinate an opponent, but to find fresh and ingenious ways to do so. To Romario, one-on-ones were both a fascinating puzzle and – to use the parlance of our time – a pissing contest. He could scoop, lob or chip. He could toe-poke it in. He could nutmeg the keeper, as he did Peter Schmeichel at Old Trafford in 1994. His favourite trick was to dance cockily, effortlessly round the keeper; sometimes he would do that and then do it again. All this might seem like an unacceptable indulgence, but Romario's love of scoring was too great for him to ever jeopardise it, and he only experimented within the limitations of his talent. Luckily for him, there were no limitations.
3. Franz Beckenbauer
You heard: Franz Beckenbauer. We know he was mostly a libero, but could have been – and briefly was – an outstanding goalscoring midfielder. Beckenbauer scored seven goals in his first 13 appearances for West Germany and then another seven in his final 90. He was ice-cool. So ice-cool that, when his side were 1-0 down in the World Cup final of 1974 and he was the only man defending against Johan Cruyff and Johnny Rep, he ran gently along in front of them like a man leading a morning jog (this is the greatest piece of defending ever by the way, for reasons we don't have time to explain here).
He showed that same coolness in front of goal. Having got past defences by, to use Scott Murray's delicious description, not so much evading challenges as ignoring them, he would either go round the goalkeeper or just pass it into the net. He made it look like the simplest, most logical thing in the world. And it was; take a look at his goals in the 1966 World Cup by clicking here and here. Soon after Beckenbauer began to explore a new position, and showed that, even if it ain't broke, sometimes it pays to fix it. As a midfielder, Beckenbauer had few peers; as a sweeper, he had none.
4. Gabriel Batistuta
"He hit it," wrote Sir Alex Ferguson of one particularly vicious Alan Shearer finish against Poland in 1996, "as if he wanted to kill it." But when it comes to striking the ball with murderous intent, there is nobody to match Gabriel Batistuta, whose 'angel' sobriquet could not have been more inappropriate. If most finishers' highlights deserve to be soundtracked by a swaggering melody or some pulsing hip-hop, it is apt that this clip of Batistuta's winner against Arsenal in 1999, possibly the most emphatic goal ever scored, plays to a background of something resembling death metal. His career was one long, screeching assault on the senses of opposing fans and especially goalkeepers.
In one-on-one situations Batistuta was very good at flipping the ball over the keeper, but generally he had no time for niceties; he was gloriously, almost ridiculously direct. It was as if, each time he took possession, he had a time limit of three or four seconds to score, so had to get from A to B via the fastest possible route. Invariably, that meant loading the cannon that was his right foot.
5. Ian Wright
Society tediously attempts to demand that we belong in only one of two categories. Blur or Oasis. Pepsi or Coke. Boy or girl. And in football, it is generally accepted that you are either a scorer of great goals or a great goalscorer. Ian Wright was emphatically both. He scored a remarkable number of goals from outside the box, particularly with the sort of imaginative chips and lobs that would have prompted all sorts of eulogies had they not been scored by an Englishman. Not that he was averse to bread and butter goals, but he frequently infused them with a striking flavour: this goal against Newcastle is a personal favourite. He had excellent disguise, the ability to Abracadabra a goal, and frighteningly quick feet in tight areas. Chuck in the rabid desire of the late bloomer and the coiled menace of the archetypal streetfighter and you have to wonder why he didn't reach double figures for England.
6. Josef Bican
We don't know much about Bican, except that he played for Austria's Wunderteam and then the Czech Republic; and unlike Pele and Romario, his official tally didn't include goals he scored in the back garden with his kids, or in his dreams while he had an afternoon nap. Even without those he was the most prolific goalscorer in the game's history. Just look at these numbers.