Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And the phrase is no truer than as applied to the beautiful game. For example, search for "greatest football goals" (on yahoo.uk, by the way--you won't get anything about soccer until page 143 in the U.S. Yahoo! page) and you'll find list upon list of the best goals ever, and every one will be different. So what distinguishes your everyday goal from a true "golazo"? And what makes a given "golazo" one of the greatest goals of all time?
Is it the technical skill exhibited by the player, as in these goals by Bergkamp (this one, by the way, is accompanied by maybe my favorite piece of goal-scoring commentary ever, even though I hardly understand a word of it), Ibrahimovic, or George Best?
Is it the player's athletics or acrobatics that make a stunning goal, as in these by Van der Vaart, Ibra again, or this by Rivaldo (which, by the way, put Barca into the Champions League that year).
Does it depend on the stage on which the game is played, the momentousness of the occasion, as in these byMaradona (1986 World Cup) or Van Basten (1988 Euro Final)?
Is it the quality of the play leading up to the goal, as in this tremendous build-up and score by Argentina in Germany 2006, or this by Brazil in the 1970 World Cup?
Or is it just the stunning manner in which the goal is scored--the "Wow Factor", as in these from Roberto Carlos, Bergkamp again, Mancini, or the incomparable Ronaldinho?
This last from Ronaldinho, for example, is peerless from a purely technical standpoint, and is unequivocally a stunner, but it meant very little in terms of the outcome of the game--nor was the game itself incredibly significant in the grand scheme of things. So maybe it doesn't belong in the same category as, say, Maradona's 1986 World Cup end-to-end vs. England.
On the other hand, while Maradona's goal was undeniably momentous, and played out on the biggest stage there is in soccer, I can't refrain from opining--and I know this is borderline blasphemy--that in terms of technical skill and the "Wow Factor," it's great and all, but I have to say it's just not in the same league as some of the others set out above. At a minimum, it has it's equals, like this from Ryan Giggs (getting ManU into the 1999 FA Cup Final in extra time), or this from George Weah.
Obviously, if you can score a goal that has bits of all the criteria set forth above, you have a real contender for the greatest of all time, which is why the goal from . . . well, actually, which do you think is best? And have I missed a criterion that defines a true "golazo" for you?