Martin Palermo (Boca Juniors v Velez Sarsfield, 2009)
It isnÃ¢ÂÂt often that headers Ã¢ÂÂ¨are considered truly classic Ã¢ÂÂ¨goals, but then it isnÃ¢ÂÂt often that someone finds the net with their nut from an incredible 43 yards out.
Argentine striker Martin Ã¢ÂÂ¨Ã¢ÂÂEl LocoÃ¢ÂÂ Palermo had a reputation for being strong in the air throughout his prolific career, and aged 35 he had his noggin to thank for what he describes as Ã¢ÂÂperhaps the most spectacular goal I ever scoredÃ¢ÂÂ.
Boca JuniorsÃ¢ÂÂ all-time top scorer explains: Ã¢ÂÂOne gift I always had was finding new ways of scoring. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt look Ã¢ÂÂ¨for it Ã¢ÂÂ it would just happen. Ã¢ÂÂ¨A bicycle kick, a penalty where Ã¢ÂÂ¨I slipped and hit the ball with both of my feet [it still went in], a header where I ended up hanging from the bar... and that night against Velez was another special goal for my collection.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂWe were 2-2 at a packed Ã¢ÂÂ¨La Bombonera with less than 20 minutes to go. There was Ã¢ÂÂ¨a long ball from the back, Nico Gaitan pushed forward to press the last defender, and Velez keeper Montoya was forced Ã¢ÂÂ¨to clear it with a long kick.
Ã¢ÂÂThe ball was directed right where I was standing, close to the centre of the pitch. I instinctively tried to head it back to the empty goal, as Montoya Ã¢ÂÂ¨was completely Ã¢ÂÂ¨out of position.
Ã¢ÂÂIt was really magical Ã¢ÂÂ¨to see the ball kissing <Ã¢ÂÂ¨the back of the net, Ã¢ÂÂ¨as it was making a dangerous curve and Ã¢ÂÂ¨I feared it would end up hitting the post.
"I took off my shirt and celebrated with all the fans, with my arms wide open. It was a key victory for us, as it was rumoured our coach, Alfio Basile, would have quit if we didnÃ¢ÂÂt get the three points. After that, he stayed.Ã¢ÂÂ
Words: Martin Mazur. Illustration: German Aczel. From the May 2012 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!