BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17: Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona (C) scores a goal under a challenge by Roversio Rodrigues de Barros of CA Osasuna (R) during the La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at Camp Nou Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
After yesterday’s nominations focused on the best individual goals scored by Barcelona players over the course of the season, it’s only natural that today’s nominees focus on the best team goals scored over the past season. However, what exactly constitutes a goal being classed as a team goal rather than an individual goal? Well, we were looking for build-up play of some description, ideally involving as much of the team as possible. Whether that means one-twos, or a calculated 30 pass build-up, the emphasis is on the quality of the team as opposed to the quality of an individual. Also included in the team goal nominees are a couple of goals noteworthy for the multiple moments of inspiration from multiple players. With that in mind, here are the nominees for the best team goal of the season.
Lionel Messi vs Santos
Perhaps the most memorable goal of the bunch, Lionel Messi’s effort against Copa Libertadores winners Santos sent the Blaugrana on their way to a second FIFA Club World Cup title. Cesc Fàbregas’s delicate chip to Xavi was sumptuous, while Xavi’s control and subsequent pass were simply out of this world. And what better way for Lionel Messi to cap it all off than with a cheeky dink over Rafael Cabral?
Andrés Iniesta vs Viktoria Plzen
One of Barcelona’s best qualities is not just their ability to dominate possession, but their ability to up the tempo at any given time, and Iniesta’s strike against Czech champions Viktoria Plzen serves as a perfect example. The Blaugrana were simply knocking the ball around the field, before Iniesta turned it up a notch with not just one, but two one-two’s with his partner-in-crime Lionel Messi. Plzen just couldn’t cope, and Iniesta’s circus-like control and finish just emphasised the quality of the move.
Lionel Messi vs Real Madrid
The build-up for this goal isn’t exactly a masterpiece, nor is it the most skilful goal on our list, but Lionel Messi’s last-minute strike against Real Madrid was one of my favourite goals of the seasons. What do you think of when you think of Guardiola’s Barcelona? I think of simple teamwork, one-touch passing and most of an insatiable winning mentality and this goal checks all those boxes. A long-ball to new signing Cesc Fàbregas in his debut, before Cesc finds Messi with a simple pass. Messi doesn’t need to take a touch, merely playing a first-time pass to Adriano who was making an intelligent run and Adriano returns the favour with an inch-perfect cross that’s emphatically finished by the best player in the world, thus sealing the game and winning a trophy. Simplistic, yet so deadly.
Xavi Hernández vs Osasuna
I can only imagine that facing Barcelona is something of an impossible task for opposing teams. Sometimes they can just be unplayable and Xavi’s goal against Osasuna was one of those occasions. Xavi lifts a ball out wide, which is returned instantly, helped onto Messi, who heads it back to Xavi. The Spaniard back-heels it superbly into the path of the Argentine who takes a couple of touches to pass it to Dani Alves. The Brazilian looks set to surge forward on the right, but plays another delightful back-heel to Messi who takes a touch, opens up his body and lifts the ball over the defense to Xavi. By this point, the stadium is already on its feet, and when Xavi sets himself up for a lovely lobbed finish, you cannot help but applaud.
Lionel Messi vs Villarreal
Thirty-eight passes. Just for context, Chelsea made 168 in the entire second-leg of the Champions League semi-final. The build-up is calm and calculated, while the finish is unnervingly clinical.
Lionel Messi vs Sevilla
This goal could have just as easily been included in the best individual goal nominees, but upon closer reflection the build-up play truly is something to behold. Yes, Cesc is a little fortunate, but from there on in it is just a simple one-two executed to perfection by two magicians – Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi. Oh, and the nutmeg/chip combo is pretty good as well.
Good luck choosing your favourite! Be sure to vote for your winner below, or via this link if the form has not loaded or you are on a mobile device.