The beautiful game can of course spring up a number of different surprises. From major giant killing cup acts where a lower division team beats a Premier League side to goal scoring records, soccer at present dominates the sporting milieu.
Yet some of the most celebrated individuals on the hallowed turf are considered to be strikers. Known for their scoring prowess on, as well as off, the field some of the most popular figureheads have been the ones knocking the goals in.
This includes the likes of Alfredo di Stefano, Eusebio who recently passed away not to mention Sir Geoff Hurst. This leading English player is still the only player in history to have scored a hat trick or three goals in a World Cup Final.
On the other hand Sir Bobby Charlton’s goal scoring record for England has still not been broken which currently stands at an impressive 49 international goals. There is of course the recent battle between two of the greatest players to ever grace this planet featuring Lionel Messi from Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
In fact, just this week the latter has broken the record for number of goals scored in a UEFA Champions League campaign with Ronaldo surpassing Messi’s previous record of 15 goals. The Portuguese forward has helped Los Blancos into the final for the first time in twelve years after a 5-0 aggregate win over 2013 winners Bayern Munich.
When it comes to quick goals there are plenty to choose from such as Bryan Robson’s goal timed at 27 seconds in the 1982 World Cup or Theo Walcott in 20 seconds against Queens Park Rangers. Speed is most certainly of the essence as we countdown the top 10 fastest goals of all time.
10 Jesus Navas, Manchester City: 14 Seconds
On a wet and rainy Sunday, at the end of November 2013, Manchester City winger Jesus Navas put his side 1-0 up in less than 15 seconds. The nippy yet versatile Spanish winger ensured French goalkeeper and Tottenham number 1 Hugo Lloris was in for a torrid afternoon. Considered to be the fifth quickest goals since the inauguration of the Premier League, Lloris fluffed his clearance and while the initial shot was saved from Sergio Aguero the follow up was rifled in by Navas from the right hand edge of the penalty box. City went on to notch a 6-0 hammering of Spurs.
9 Dwight Yorke, Aston Villa: 13 Seconds
Former Aston Villa and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke took just 13 seconds to get on the score sheet. Part of the treble winning 1999 Manchester United side which featured Roy Keane and iconic goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, the flamboyant Yorke struck up a wonderful partnership with Andy Cole at Old Trafford. However, it was this strike for Aston Villa against Coventry City that puts him on the list.
8 Mark Viduka, Leeds United: 11.1 Seconds
A prolific goal scorer in his own right, former Australian international Mark Viduka made his career in the north of England at Leeds United. One of his claims to fame was the fact that he managed to score four goals against the mighty Liverpool during his career. However, in 2001, it was against Charlton Athletic that he found the net in less than 11.5 seconds
7 Alan Shearer, Newcastle United: 10.4 Seconds
An absolute legend in every possible way, Geordie hero Alan Shearer signed for Newcastle at the time for a club record fee of $25 million. Having forged his own career at Southampton, the Tyne and Wear star moved to Blackburn Rovers where he won the Premier League title in 1995. Shearer scored after only 10.4 seconds in a game against Manchester City which has catapulted him onto the hit list.
6 Ledley King, Tottenham Hotspur: 10 Seconds
It is not just strikers that have the ability to hit the back of the net. Ex-Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King achieved an incredibly quick goal within 10 seconds back in the 2001/01 season. His 10 second wonder goal was against Bradford City who were in the highest echelons of soccer for a period of time. Unfortunately, King’s career was plagued by injury and had no choice but to retire thanks to persistent injury problems.
5 Roy Makaay, Bayern Munich: 10 Seconds
Dutch international Roy Makaay who at the time was playing for Bayern Munich took again just 10 seconds to make his mark. He bamboozled former Brazilian player Roberto Carlos who was caught napping in the very first minute of the game. A cross came in from winger Hasan Salihamidžić which was tucked away in style by Makaay to go down as one of the fastest Champions League goals ever.
4 Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls: 7 Seconds
Former Everton player Tim Cahill took less than 8 seconds to strike on his way to a 3-0 MLS victory against Houston Dynamo. He is officially recognised in the MLS records books as scoring the fastest goal since the league came into fruition.
3 Nawaf Al Abed, Al-Hilal: 2.4 Seconds
In November 2011, Saudi Arabian soccer player Al Abed lays claim to one of the fastest goals on the planet. Having scored in less than 2.5 seconds, it is believed to be the speediest goal in the history of soccer. His intelligence spotted the goal keeper off his goal line and took a shot direct from the centre circle. The result was the ball ended up in the net and Al-Hilal went on to record a 4-0 victory.
2 Marc Burrows, Cowes Sport: 2 Seconds
A heartfelt story comes in the shape of Marc Burrows. Playing for lowly Cowes Sport at the time his strike against Eastleigh was recorded at an incredible 2 seconds. His goal came straight from the kick off after being set up by one of his colleagues. Tragically, Burrows passed away in 2009 at the age of 30 after battling cancer.
1 Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal: 1.8 Seconds
This is technically the quickest goal to have ever been scored by a substitute in the Premier League. Danish international Nicklas Bendtner scored for Arsenal against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in just 1.8 seconds. Fined more than $75,000 for showing advertising on his undergarments at the last European Championships in 2012, he headed his way into the record books after being teed up by a Cesc Fabegras corner.