The end of the football season always pushes us into unknown territory, one that is devoid of weekly pleasure and fraught with existential horrors. For all its greed and misdeeds, three months without football tells us our limitation as fans—that we need the game as much as these ultra-rich club owners need us. For us, the game is an escape from the daily grind; for them, we are nothing more than captive customers. 

If you are one of those fans whose whole sense of identity dwells around football clubs you support, the inactivity is even more insufferable. How to cope with it? This is where old highlights on YouTube come to the rescue. Goals are the basic unit of the game, and there are some of these we never get tired of watching. 

Let’s take a look at the top five most-viewed goals on YouTube:

1. Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid

This one has garnered 76,557,316 views on YouTube. Lionel Messi scored a dramatic winner in the dying minutes of the game to silence the boisterous crowds of Santiago Bernabeu. The swift counter-attack culminated with an icy cool finish from the Argentine, who beat Keylor Navas on hid near side. It was also the 500th goal of Messi’s club career, and the iconic shirt-raise in front of rival fans will be remembered for a long time.

2. Diego Maradona vs England (1986) 

Quite an old one, and quite unsurprisingly, it’s the infamous ‘Hand Of The God’ from Diego Maradona against England in 1986. The most controversial goal in the game is also one of the most-watched goals on YouTube, raking over 18 million views. Given how almost everyone missed the involvement of Maradona’s hand, this clip has a great potential to be included in the economics course for the dummy to illustrate how Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market works. 

3. David Beckham vs Greece (2001)

David Beckham sent the entire nation into delirium with his dangerously swirling, dipping free-kick in injury time to confirm the ticket to the 2002 World Cup. The goal meant the world for both the team and English fans, whose golden generation was staring at heart-breaking defeat for the majority of the match. 

4. Sergio Aguero vs QPR (2012)

It was a simple goal from Sergio Aguero that completely altered the course of the Premier League. Aguero took the ball inside the box and slotted it home to drive his club to the first-ever Premier League title. This strike can be considered the starting point of Manchester City’s dominance.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic introduced himself to the American crowd with a stunning hat-trick on his LA Galaxy debut. For his second goal, he executed an emphatic volley from a distance that flew over the goalkeeper before settling at the back of the nets. Later on, he would go on to score the winner as LA Galaxy won the game by 4-3.

Featured Image Credit: Lionel Messi