Ranked! The 10 greatest England goals of all-time

Ranked! The 10 greatest England goals of all-time
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Football might not have come home for, erm, *checks notes* 56 years, but there's rarely a dull moment as an England fan. The Three Lions have been involved in some incredible drama down the years, with some sensational goals to keep fans dreaming.

Here are the best 10 ever scored for the nation that invented the beautiful game...

10. Jack Wilshere vs Slovenia (2015)

Proof that England did, occasionally, play some attractive football under Roy Hodgson. 

It's a thumping finish from Wilshere – who had scored another belter already that day – but the goal's beauty lies in the move just before the former Arsenal man hits it. 

The ball from Jordan Henderson is begging to be flicked into the path of an onrushing midfielder and Adam Lallana has the balance and poise to execute it perfectly. Lovely. 

9. Alan Shearer vs Netherlands (1996)

To be clear, we're talking about the third goal in the 4-1 victory, here, not the penalty Big Al thunders in to get the party started. This performance remains one of England's best at a major tournament and Shearer's second strike is the pick of the bunch. 

A little Paul Gascoigne shimmy creates space in the box, Teddy Sheringham selflessly moves it along and bosh! Sure, Shearer could have slotted it but that's just not the man's style...

8. Graeme Le Saux vs Brazil (1995)

A marauding wing-back during his illustrious career, Le Saux was known more for his tough tackling and lung-busting runs than for his finishing. Yet this ridiculous effort shows just how technically good the Premier League-winner was in his pomp. When the free-kick is cleared, you're thinking Le Saux is just going to pop the ball back into the box for a team-mate. You thought wrong. 

7. Bobby Charlton vs Mexico (1966)

Bobby Charlton was a man of many talents. But chief among his skills were his dribbling and his ferocious shot. This goal, coming in the group stage of the 1966 World Cup against Mexico, shows off those attributes better than any other Charlton strike. The Manchester United man gallops through midfield, deep into the opposition half, before letting fly with his right boot. No goalkeeper is stopping that. 

6. David Beckham vs Greece (2001)

Cometh the hour... We did say goals wouldn't be included on importance and we stand by that. But this wasn't just any free-kick that sent England to a World Cup – it was a friggin' good one. Becks is approximately 2,000 metres from goal when he lines this one up and bullets it into the Greek net. What a hero. 

5. Joe Cole vs Sweden (2006)

Similar to Le Saux's strike but the loop on Cole's shot, plus the fact it ricochets in off the post, makes it more pleasing on the eye. This was an era in which England constantly seemed to be playing Sweden at major tournaments. 

4. David Platt vs Belgium (1990)

Gazza charging through midfield to win the free-kick is a great watch but the best is yet to come. 

The Geordie playmaker floats a ball towards the far post and Platt just leathers it. It's only with the benefit of replays you appreciate what he does, though. The midfielder watches it fall over his shoulder and swivels on his toes before lamping it back over his shoulder and into the far corner. Just wow. 

3. John Barnes vs Brazil (1984)

Slaloming your way through a defence, rounding the 'keeper and slotting the ball into an empty net is always great... doing it against Brazil, the inventors of joga bonito, at the Maracana is a whole different kettle of fish. Barnesy was a brilliant dribbler, but perhaps never more so than in the five seconds he scored this cracker. 

2. Michael Owen vs Argentina (1998)

You thought this was going to win, didn't you? Well, we did have to think long and hard about it. 

It's an astonishing goal made all the more astonishing by the fact Owen is 18, here. His fantastic first touch sets him off towards goal but he still has a ludicrously positioned Roberto Ayala to beat. A little shimmy and a burst of space (Owen was clocked at over 20mph as he beats the sweeper) gives him the angle to blast home. Brilliant. 

1. Paul Gascoigne vs Scotland (1996)

Audacious, jaw-dropping, hilarious. This goal was Gazza the player in a nutshell. Against England's Auld Enemy in Euro 96, the midfielder produces a moment of magic to seal a 2-0 group stage victory. 

The technique to knock the ball over Colin Hendry's head before dashing round the Scot to volley home is superhuman, and the celebration is up there with the greatest in the history of the game. The greatest goal ever scored by an England player. 

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