Top 10 Best Header Goals

10 Best Header Goals of All Time in Football

Over the years, the charm of football has grown because of its goal scorers, with header goals putting the cherry on top. In the modern day, fast-paced games require a great amount of athleticism from the attackers to convert the headers into goals. Hence, players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Robin Van Persie, and Sergio Ramos have recorded their names on the list of the best header goals in football history. 

Any footballer can score using the feet. But to execute a header goal, a player must possess a sense of the defenders’ presence and receive the ball at the right time inside the penalty box. A perfect leap at the ideal moment, defender-deceiving skills and positional awareness are the most needed weapons the strikers must have in their arsenal to score a perfect header. Since the inception of football, many players have made it a habit to score using their heads. In this article, we’ll talk about the 10 best header goals of all time in football.

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Best Header Goals in Football History

Luis García (2005, vs Anderlecht)

Luis García celebrates his goal against Anderlecht
Luis García celebrates his goal against Anderlecht (Credits: Getty)

Luis García took the level of headers to new heights with his goal in a Champions League match back in 2005. The Liverpool winger perfectly headed a curling cross from the right side to execute a no-look headed goal against Anderlecht. The former Spanish international scored this beauty from almost 19-20 yards out while moving away from the goal line. 

Alan Shearer (2003, vs Bayer Leverkusen)

Alan Shearer's header vs Bayern
Alan Shearer’s header vs Bayern (Credits: Getty)

The former Newcastle United forward was one of the best headers off the ball during his time. Shearer scored a whopping 49 headers out of his 206 goals for the English club. Meanwhile, his best header goal came in the form of his first Champions League goal. When the Magpies locked horns with Bayer Leverkusen in 2003 on a UCL night, Shearer threw himself like a rocket and scored a horizontal headed goal, without giving the keeper any chance to save. The scenes at St. James’ Park were out of the world after this goal. 

Zinedine Zidane (1998, vs Brazil)

Zidane's legendary header vs Brazil
Zidane’s legendary header vs Brazil (Credit: Getty)

The bald Zidane is not only famous for his exquisite skills and vision on the football ground. His heroic performance against Brazil in the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup showed a different side of the famous midfielder. He netted two goals in France’s 3-0 victory on home turf against Selecao and stole the limelight with his two header goals. Meanwhile, his first goal was something else. Running into the tight position and making solid contact to find the back of the net – everything was perfect in that goal. And Zidane, like a true opportunist, rose to the occasion and became the hero of the moment. That goal still exists in the famous header goals archive in football. 

Cristiano Ronaldo (2008, vs Roma)

Ronaldo's header goal vs Roma in the UCL
Ronaldo’s header goal vs Roma in the UCL (Credits: Getty)

Out of the world! These were the first words coming out of the mouths of the commentators when Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the best header goals in the history of football against Roma. The then Manchester United superstar scored a blinder from nowhere in a Champions League game in 2008. When Paul Scholes sent a high cross into the middle of the penalty box, Ronaldo was not even there. But, out of nowhere, he burst into the scene and sent the ball into the net with a perfect header. 

Robin van Persie (2014, vs Spain)

Robin Van Persie's flying header against Spain
Robin Van Persie’s flying header against Spain (Credits: Getty)

Well, this goal by Robin van Persie might be the best header goal of all time in football. And it earned him the name “the flying Dutchman”. In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, an onrushing Van Persie threw himself in the air like a bird and slotted the ball home through a pin-point header with an unbelievable flight. Unbelievable! Words can not describe the royalty of this beautiful goal alone. This moment stunned the Spanish team despite they started the game on a high note. When the final whistle was blown, the number 9 of the Netherlands had already propelled his side to a 5-1 victory. 

Sergio Ramos (2014, vs Atlético Madrid)

Sergio Ramos' famous header against Atlético
Sergio Ramos’ famous header against Atlético (Credits: Getty)

Sergio Ramos is one of those defenders, who has more goals than many forwards in football. His header against Real Madrid’s archrivals Atlético Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final is one of the most prolific and important headers of all time. When Colchoneros were just seconds away from winning their first-ever UCL trophy, Ramos seized the moment with an accurate header off a corner cross from Luka Modrić to level the score. It was the 92nd minute and 48th second by the clock at that moment. Since then, 92:48 has been synced with the former Spanish skipper. 

Carles Puyol (2010, vs Germany)

Carles Puyol's header against Germany
Carles Puyol’s header against Germany (Credits: Getty)

Puyol’s header earned a spot for Spain in the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The mop-haired defender charged a bending cross from a corner kick with precision and scored the winning goal against Germany in the second half of the semifinal game. It was a bullet header and the young German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looked helpless between the sticks. Puyol’s goal is still considered as one of the most important moments in the history of the World Cup. 

Didier Drogba (2012, vs Bayern Munich)

Drogba header vs Bayern Munich
Drogba header vs Bayern Munich (Credits: Getty)

The tall African forward was known for his physical strength and athleticism. He has scored many goals using the head, but the goal against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final was something else. When Chelsea were trailing 0-1, Didier Drogba netted the equalizer with a rocket header on the cusp of the end of the regulation time and made Allianz Arena silent. Later, the Blues lifted the UCL title by winning on penalties. 

Pelé (1970, vs Italy)

Pelé's legendary header against Italy
Pelé’s legendary header against Italy (Credits: Getty)

The Brazilian legend is a monumental figure in football. There were plenty of occasions where Pelé bailed his team out. In the 1970 World Cup final, he scored a stunning header against Italy. The defensive Italian side was no match for the 29-year-old Brazilian who entered the penalty area and leaped up to convert a strong header into a beautiful goal, making the goalkeeper a watcher only. The header went past the goalie like a bullet. Brazil eventually defeated Italy 1-0 to win their third global title.

Lionel Messi (2009, vs Manchester United)

Lionel Messi's header vs Man United in the 2009 UCL
Lionel Messi’s header vs Man United in the 2009 UCL (Credit: Getty)

Messi is a surprising inclusion on the list of best header goals of all time. But, the little magician’s magical header in the Champions League final against Manchester United demanded a spot on this tally. In the final showdown at the UCL, Xavi’s cross found the head of Messi, who was not prepared for a high cross. But, with commendable accuracy, the little Argentine headed the ball into the far corner in the 70th minute of the game. This is Messi’s best header goal so far in his career.

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Q. Who has the greatest header goal in football history?

Robin van Persie’s goal against Spain in the 2014 World Cup is arguably the greatest header goal in football history.