Pedro Goncalves added his name to a long list of ‘where were you?’ Wondergoals on Thursday night.
The 24-year-old Sporting Lisbon player broke Arsenal’s hearts when he unleashed a 46-yard strike over Aaron Ramsale to tie the Europa League, a tie the Portuguese team ultimately won on penalties.
The fans reacted to Goncalves’ goal by declaring him a goal of the season candidate, but he is by no means the first to create memories with a great shot from distance.
From David Beckham’s iconic goal on the halfway line against Wimbledon, which summed up the 1990s, to the excellent work of Dejan Stankovic and Xabi Alonso, many others have made it an art to score spectacular long-range goals.
Here sports mail rounds up eight of the best goals from distance:
Pedro Goncalves put his name on the list of great goals from distance on Thursday night
In 1996, David Beckham introduced himself to the world of football with an extraordinary goal.
david beckham Wimbledon vs. manchester unitedAugust 17, 1996
This is such an iconic part of the 1990s that it doesn’t feel like a true recap of the decade if you don’t include it.
At the start of the 1996-97 season, few knew what David Beckham would be capable of. That changed on opening day.
Manchester United recovered the ball in midfield, and it reaches Beckham, who was 21 years old at the time. Looking up, he sees Wimbledon keeper Neil Sullivan off his line and shoots from the halfway line. The rest is history.
Man United claimed their fourth Premier League trophy that season.
Pedro Concalves – arsenal against sporting lisbonMarch 16, 2023
Anyone who watched Thursday night’s Europa League tie at the Emirates would have seen a very even match. While Arsenal took the lead on the night, and overall, it took something special to bring Sporting Lisbon back to level.
Pedro Concalves, 24, picks up the ball in his own half and carries it along the center circle. He is at the same level, when he doesn’t even look up. He just places it.
The ball flies in such a way that Gunners goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who is falling back, can’t do anything about it. He flies inside for the tie. Sporting win on penalties.
It is too early to judge if this goal is a mark of winning the trophy, but it was a necessary piece for the Portuguese team to advance to the quarterfinals.
Xabi Alonso- city of luton against LiverpoolJanuary 7, 2006
Xabi Alonso was always one of those players who made big goals from distance a thing. One of the most memorable of his was his 70-yard effort to seal an FA Cup victory for Liverpool.
As reigning Champions League holders, they should have made light work of Championship Luton Town, but despite pushing on they found themselves 3-1 behind.
Liverpool made it 4-3 with a trio of goals in 12 minutes, and when the Luton Town keeper stepped up for an injury-time corner, it could go one of two ways. For the Reds, fortune fell their way, and Alonso was able to deflect the keeper and strike across an uneven field into an empty net.
Liverpool won the FA Cup that season.
Xabi Alonso (L) and Dejan Stankovic scored great goals repeatedly with long shots
Dejan Stankovic – Inter Milan against Schalke, April 5, 2011
Dejan Stankovic had an exceptional talent for finding the goal from distance, but this one from the 2011 Champions League quarter-final is a particular highlight.
In the first play of the game, the Schalke goalkeeper leaves his area to finish off with a header. Unfortunately for Manuel Neuer, he landed right at Stankovic’s feet, and hit the sweetest volley to put the hosts ahead with 25 seconds left.
Unfortunately for Stankovic, Inter Milan were unable to maintain their early lead, losing that match 5-2 and ultimately succumbing on aggregate to their German opponents.
Schalke were easily dispatched in the semi-finals by Manchester United, so no team took the glory for this goal, apart from the compilers of brilliant long-range goals. (Thanks, Stankovic.)
Robert Pires scored a beauty against Southampton as part of his 49 game unbeaten run
Robert Pires-Arsenal v Southampton, 7 May 2003
Arsenal to their credit have had some spectacular goals of their own. One of the best came in 2003, when the Gunners posted a 6-1 win over Southampton.
Robert Pires scored a hat-trick that day, and one of those goals rightfully ranks among the greatest goals from distance. He took advantage of a defensive slip by the Saints to put a ball into the goal.
While Arsenal only came second that season, the Invincibles came the following campaign, it was a key step in their remarkable 49-game unbeaten run.
Xabi Alonso – Bayern Munich v Ingolstadt, September 17, 2017
Xabi Alonso’s efforts from afar were legendary for Liverpool and continued when he moved to Bayern Munich. His goals from distance were so pleasing that the Bundesliga compiled four of them for its advent calendar in 2016.
Perhaps the pick of the group was a dizzying shot from around 30 yards against Ingolstadt. It was a well-worked move, and there was nothing Norway goalkeeper Orjan Nyland could do against Alonso’s low shot as it flew past him.
Bayern Munich lifted the German league title that year, part of a decade of Bundesliga success.
Dejan Stankovic genoa against Inter de MilanOctober 19, 2009
Some names have that magic touch over and over again, like Alonso and like Stankovic.
On Inter Milan’s path to Serie A glory in 2009-10, Stankovic made another beauty, an instant connection to a misplaced ball from the keeper, to score from 50 meters without the ball even touching the pitch.
Genoa were already two goals down at this point, but they definitely would have preferred the Serb to keep his wonder goal out of the equation.
tom king – Cheltenham Town vs. Newport County19 January 2021
The Guinness World Record for the longest goal ever scored in a competitive match is unlikely to be broken. It was a stormy night in Cheltenham as Tom King stepped forward to take a standard goal kick in a League Two match.
The ball rose into the night sky and traveled favorably, bouncing right in front of the opposing penalty area. He then ran past Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths who was unable to stop the opposing goalkeeper from making history.
That match ended 1–1, and Newport County progressed to the playoffs, where they were denied promotion to League One by losing the final.