The FA Cup is the oldest club-competition in world football, and fans from across the world will be gearing up for the 2019 edition this week. The third round takes centre stage on Saturday 5th January, with a number of lower league sides hoping to cause an upset.
But it’s not just giant killings the FA Cup is renowned for, with a decorated history of super strikes and brilliant finishes, England’s most famous tournament has produced some of the best goals the game has ever seen.
Here, we take a look at the five best strikes in the competition’s history, in no particular order.
Although he was only at the club for a couple of years, there is no doubt that Dimitri Payet had a huge impact at West Ham. Not only was he an instrumental part of a record-breaking 2015/16 season, but he also scored one of the best goals in recent FA Cup history.
In the FA Cup quarter-final match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Dimitri Payet opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick from 35 yards to open the scoring. Although the match ended in a draw, there’s no doubt that his goal will be remembered for years to come.
Arguably the biggest FA Cup shock of all-time created arguably the best goal ever seen in the competition. Ronnie Radford, the unknown Hereford United midfielder, scored an absolute screamer from 30 yards after playing a one-two with Brian Owen in the build-up.
Non-league Hereford were entertaining Newcastle United on a pitch that can only be described as a quagmire, and it was the Geordies who couldn’t cope. Radford’s strike has effectively become immortalised in FA Cup folklore, real Roy of the Rovers stuff in this third round replay from 1972.
Perhaps not as iconic as Radford’s strike, but it certainly goes down as the arguably the best ever goal in world football, let alone the FA Cup. Trevor Sinclair, the Queens Park Rangers winger, lit up a lacklustre Loftus Road with the most exquisite of over-head volleys.
A rather hopeful cross was launched in from the right-hand side and with his back to goal, Sinclair simply shifted himself and acrobatically lashed the ball home from outside the box. Everything happened so quick, it took a moment to process just how good Sinclair’s finish was. Unbelievable.
Tottenham Hotspur’s sixth FA Cup came courtesy of a truly inspiring goal, fit to win any match. Ricky Villa, the Argentinian World Cup winner, received the ball 30 yards from Manchester City’s goal and simply waltzed past four defenders before slotting home.
The goal was voted Wembley Goal of the Century in 2001, and it’s hard to find another goal that comes close. For Spurs and Villa, they went on to toast a 3-2 win over City and the goal is perhaps the most iconic in the competition’s history, as well as one of the best.
Although the Betfair Premier League betting odds don’t look good from Manchester United’s perspective, they can always revel in their FA Cup glory from yesteryear, and a certain goal, in particular, that’ll always stand out. Step forward Ryan Giggs, which is quite literally what he did against Arsenal in the semi-final replay of 1999.
The Welsh wizard took it upon himself to waltz through the entire Arsenal defence, picking up the ball on the left-hand side as he left the likes of Lee Dixon grounded before smashing the ball past the helpless David Seaman into the roof of the net.