Sandro Rosell hasn’t exactly been the most popular president in FC Barcelona history, but his tongue-in-cheek comments this week when asked about Cristiano Ronaldo surely forced a smile from even the most ardent Laporta supporter. Responding to claims that Portuguese winger Ronaldo is favourite for the Ballon D’Or, the Catalan angered Madridistas across the world by saying:
"Cristiano Ronaldo is not the second best player in the world, he is the 12th, the first 11 are the Barcelona players. Outside Spain everyone is clear that Messi should win the Golden Ball."
Naturally, this led to many writers relaying the quotes as if Sandro Rosell was being deadly serious, but you know what? He might just be onto something here...while the Blaugrana are lauded for their team ethic, there can be no denying that the Catalans employee some of the finest individuals in the sport and these individuals combined with the Barcelona system can lead to some quite spectacular goals. Here are our five nominees for the best individual goal of the season!
Barcelona were 1-0 down in the opening leg thanks to Mesut Ozil’s goal, and were looking far from their best at the Bernabeu, that was until the ball found its way to David Villa. This right-footed curling effort was quite simply unsaveable and perfectly demonstrated just why the Blaugrana paid around €40 million for his services.
My Favourite Moment from the Video: Sergio Ramos’ almost comical reaction to the ball hitting the top corner around the 0:15 mark.
The goal in gif form: http://gifsoup.com/view1/3846213/villa-golazo-o.gif
Barcelona’s win against Real Mallorca way back in October was pretty much your typical match at the Camp Nou. Lionel Messi helped himself to a nice hat-trick, before another La Masia graduate got themselves on the scoresheet (in this match it was Isaac Cuenca). However, there was nothing ordinary about the fifth goal, scored in injury-time by Dani Alves. Receiving the ball on the right-hand side from a Messi pass, Alves looked up, and let fly with an absolute belter that crashed in via the bar to emphasis the gulf in class between the two sides.
My Favourite Moment from the Video: The bizarre celebration involving Jose Pinto (who else?) and Eric Abidal, not to mention Cesc’s nervous smile in the background at around 0:23.
The goal in gif form: http://gifsoup.com/view1/3846292/alves-x-mallorca-o.gif
Lionel Messi vs Atletico Madrid – That Free-Kick
You could almost feel our title hopes fading away...Dani Alves had given Barca the lead, before Falcao’s goal tied things up at 1-1. With just 10 minutes left, Barcelona were looking tired; they needed a goal from someone, from somewhere. Step forward Lionel Messi. With 81 minutes on the clock, Messi took a leaf from Thierry Henry’s book by quickly taking a free-kick. But that’s where the similarities end. Usually, Henry’s efforts relied on their speed and surprise factor, but Messi clearly didn’t get the memo and made sure his cheeky effort wouldn’t have been saved even if Thibaut Courtois was ready.
My Favourite Moment from the Video: Sanchez looking in the wrong direction when the ball was struck, from 0:03 to 0:07.
The goal in gif form: http://gifsoup.com/view5/3846342/messi-freekick-o.gif
Seydou Keita vs Sporting Gijon – A Game-Winner
Just a week after Messi’s phenomenal free-kick, Barcelona left it late once again, this time against Sporting Gijon. Andrés Iniesta had opened the scoring before a Piqué red card and a goal from David Barral had left the Blaugrana in a precarious position. They needed a goal, and this time it would come from the most unlikely source: Seydou Keita. His left-footed screamer caught everybody by surprise, and while Xavi added a third late on, it was this goal that won the game.
My Favourite Moment from the Video: Guardiola, ever the professional reacting to the goal by motioning for his players to get back, before issuing instructions to Xavi around the 0:33 mark.
The goal in gif form: http://gifsoup.com/view5/3846370/keita-golazo-o.gif
Dani Alves vs Real Madrid - :O
With a 2-1 lead from the first leg, Barcelona were quietly confident of eliminating their great rivals in the Copa del Rey, and Pedro’s opener eased the nerves before Dani Alves of all people hammered home one of the goals of the season, no, scratch that, of the century to give the Catalans a 4-1 aggregate lead headed into half-time.
My Favourite Moment from the Video: Any one from Puyol tripping over Casillas in his celebrations, the dance with Abidal or Casillas’ little shake of the head around 0:22.
The goal in gif form: http://im16.gulfup.com/2012-01-26/1327537631161.gif
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.