The All Time Greatest Matches in Soccer History

by C.C. Curtis 3 years ago in football

There have been tons of amazing soccer matches throughout the years, but only a few of them are marked the all-time best. Check out the greatest matches in soccer history.

The All Time Greatest Matches in Soccer History

We all know how thrilling and nerve wracking soccer matches are—especially when your favorite team goes head to head with your most hated team. Serious things can really go down. Either watching it live or through the television, you'll acquire the same feelings all throughout the game. Rage, joy, or even anxiety, soccer comes with so many mixed emotions, the sport is basically playing with everyone's heart. Yes, it's that serious. If you're not a fan of soccer, there's no way you can understand.

Anyways, there have been so many matches we've watched and either cried in misery or popped champagne and celebrated for days. We've witnessed unbelievable goals and wouldn't stop talking about them for months! As many amazing matches as there were, there are actually a few that are labeled as the most incredible matches in soccer ever. Through last minute goals to unimaginable shots, these are the greatest matches in soccer history.

The 1970 World Cup Final, which had teams Brazil and Italy face to face, became an epic match in soccer history. Edson Arantes do Nascimento, mainly known as Pelé, wowed the crowd and proved his strength in Mexico City with the first amazing goal. After this goal, his fellow players followed right behind.

Pelé headed for the opener right before having a hand in two others after a Roberto Boninsegna equalizer. When Gérson put Brazil back ahead, Jairzinho added another and captain Carlos Alberto was the victor of the match with an iconic fourth goal. The amazing match resulted in Brazil with four goals and Italy with just one and it was seen as one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time.

In order to reach the final, each club needed to progress through the group stage and knockout rounds—playing a total of 12 matches. Liverpool managed to win their fifth European title during a dramatic recovery from a 3-0 half-time shortage in Istanbul. When Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer, and Xabi Alonso made three lightning-speed goals within five amazing minutes, the crowd knew where the game would be going. Gerrard is also known as one of the best shooters ever, so his goal wasn't a surprise.

Liverpool proved their strength as Jerzy Dudek even made two saves in the game. The club’s comeback from the final was known as the "Miracle of Istanbul" and is seen as one of the greatest matches in soccer ever and one of the greatest comebacks; the match resulted to Liverpool 3-2.

The 1953 FA Cup Final, which is also known as the Matthews Final, was the eighth to be held at Wembley Stadium right after World War II. Between Blackpool and Bolton, legendary Stanley Matthews recovered from 3-1 down and made this match his career savior. It was the only Wembley FA Cup Final to feature a hat-trick that was scored by Blackpool’s Stan Mortensen through his awesome free kick.

Soon, Bill Perry conquered the game in injury time after more fine work from Matthews. Blackpool was making their third FA Cup appearance from the six years of losing finalists twice in 1948 and 1951.

Between Real Madrid of Spain and Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, the 1960 European Cup Final was the fifth final in the history of the European Cup. It’s also among the greatest matches in soccer ever with Madrid winning 7-3 in front of a 127,000 crowd in Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

What brought Madrid to victory were players Puskás and Di Stefano, the two out of three players who’ve actually scored a hat-trick in a European Cup or Champions League Final. Meanwhile, Frankfurt’s other two goals were mere consolations in the latter stages.

At the time, Hungary was the world's number one ranked team as well as the Olympic champions of 24 unbeaten games. Them against England became the "Match of the Century" when Hungary defeated them 6-3. The English were actually shown to be technically and tactically inferior against the Hungarians in every way.

The game really gave England a good wake-up call when they were totally demolished by the Magnificent Magyars at Wembley. The match was their first defeat on home soil. Nandor Hidegkuti, who scored three goals, scored the first of his hat-trick within the second minute followed by Ferenc Puskas who added two and Jozsef Bozsik who scored the last goal.

Among the greatest matches in soccer, Benfica crushed Real Madrid 5-3 in Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam. Ferenc Puskas started off the game with a flawless hat-trick for Madrid, but wasn’t expecting Benfica to catch right up.

Eusebio then followed right up and scored twice, the first from the penalty spot. Then Benfica players José Águas, Domiciano Cavém, and Mário Coluna managed to get one goal on their own, which drove their team to victory.

Legendary soccer player Pelé amazed us with his skills once more in the 1970 World Cup Round Robin. With Brazil face to face with England, those who watched the game can easily say it's among the greatest matches in soccer history. While it was a really tough match, Brazil defeated England 1-0 cleanly.

Both teams were able to take each other’s amazing shots for more than an hour. But then Bobby Moore pulled off an astonishing tackle on Pelé to prevent an attempt at Banks’ goal. Then, when Jairzinho smashed a home winning goal assisted by Pelé and set up by Tostao, the breakthrough came around the 63rd minute.

Through a very tense atmosphere between two rival nations in Azteca Stadium, Argentina and England were neck and neck. Seen as one of the most gifted soccer players in history, Diego Maradona of Argentina swept up the game after he went on and scored two of the most talked about goals ever.

Then, right after the break, Diego Maradona made “The Hand of God” goal, which was seen as one of the most controversial goals in history. He made a handball disguised as a header over Peter Shilton which everyone but referee Ali Bin Nasser saw. Just a few minutes later, the legend scored “The Goal of the Century” through moving past six English defenders before shooting the goal, resulting in the game being 2-1, Argentina.

Seen as “The Game of the Century,” West Germany and Italy featured two football powerhouses that stunned the whole crowd. They provided five goals in extra time and it was also the World Cup semifinal. Italian player Roberto Boninsegna placed the team ahead in the very beginning of the game when he left-footed a strike at the edge of the goal. Right when the crowd believed that Italy was going to be crowd victorious, German defender Schnellinger leveled up the score with a header in injury time.

Then Germany was in the lead with a goal from German soccer player Gerd Muller in the 94th minute. Italy closed the first period of extra time with a goal by Italian soccer player Gigi Riva. Soon, Muller scored once more and made the game 3-3 and Rivera went on to score the winning goal right after—making it 4-3 Italy and the match became one of the greatest matches in soccer ever.

Lastly, among the all-time greatest matches in soccer, the 2012 Premier League was a phenomenal match where Manchester City was face to face with the Queens Park Rangers. Manchester went into the final game of the season and believed well enough that they had the match in their hands. It took them until injury time to really have the game by its neck.

While Manchester surrendered a lead to fall 2-1 behind, Edin Dzeko equalized with the 90 minutes up right before Sergio Aguero struck an astonishing goal that sent Manchester straight to victory. Just as how they were predicted as the winners, the match ended at 3-2.

C.C. Curtis
C.C. Curtis
Read next: The Spanish Connection
C.C. Curtis

Enjoys lounging in NYC bars, loves traveling to foreign countries, and volunteers at the homeless shelter twice a month.

See all posts by C.C. Curtis