When it comes to trying to decide the best goal I've ever seen scored against my team, to be honest, it’s quite a difficult task. Not so much for the painful memories its dig back up, but more so because, being a Newcastle United fan, there's just rather a lot to choose from!
To this very day I still have nightmares about the mid-90’s, when a certain Matt Le Tissier used to make it his own personal mission to score goal of the season against Newcastle every year, usually succeeding. Since then, Wayne Rooney has seemingly taken it upon himself to continue Matt’s good work and has succeeded in scoring some absolute beauts against us; Wayne’s personal highlight being an absolutely unstoppable volley from about 30 yards at Old Trafford. Ah the memories.
In more recent times, earlier this season, we Newcastle fans were lucky enough to be treated to a Luis Suarez special. Somehow managing to squeeze himself between Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul before, brilliantly catching a 60 yard pass on his chest, controlling with one touch, and then clipping the ball past the Dutch keeper. Class.
However, after much deliberation and thought, there is one that sticks in my mind due to its ingenuity and its originality. The best goal I ever saw in the flesh was by Arsenal's Dutch master himself; step forward Mr Dennis Bergkamp. The greatest goal I've seen my team concede was Bergkamp's flick around Nicos Dabizas for Arsenal against Newcastle at St James' Park in 2002.
In his pomp Bergkamp was quite possibly the most gifted player on the planet, capable of things far greater than most mere mortals. On that day, I got to see his true brilliance first hand. After a perfectly weighted pass from Robert Pires, Bergkamp gently flicked the ball around Dabizas whilst spinning off around the other side of the Greek defender. He and the ball then met in perfect tandem on the other side before Dennis calmly notched past the on rushing keeper'.
I was in the Gallowgate corner behind the goal that day. The moment he pulled off such ridiculous skill, completely taking out the hapless Dabizas with one deft touch, I can still clearly remember actually saying out loud "Oh that's class" as he tucked it coolly under Shay Given.
Then, as Bergkamp and Arsenal celebrated in front of the home fans, virtually everyone around me started shouting and blaming Dabizas. As it had happened so fast, it was at this point I began to question what I’d just seen, whether I had seen it right and not missed some horrendous defensive error.
After numerous, inconclusive debates in the pub afterwards, discussing whether or not it was a fluke or a moment of class; once home I eagerly awaited Match of the Day for my answer. Before long my theory was confirmed and any doubt I'd missed something was soon put to rest. Bergkamp's goal was pure class and one of the finest in his vast catalogue of masterpieces; and although it was against my team, I now feel privileged to have been there to have seen such a wonderful goal with my own eyes.
So for that reason, on the Saturday 2nd March 2002 Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp scored a goal against my team Newcastle United, and it was the best goal I've ever seen by an opposing player.
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