Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.


Your Sun

A News UK Company

6 facts about iconic football moments that’ll change the way you see them forever

Diego Maradona's wonder goal against England, David Beckham's free-kick vs Greece, Rene Higuita's scorpion kick save... they're all lies

Prepare to have your favourite football memories changed forever.

1 The greatest save of all time is a big fat lie


We thought it was the most confident and entertaining save ever produced.

Colombian keeper Rene Higuita’s scorpion kick against England in 1995 is about as iconic as it gets when it comes to incidents in international friendlies.

But did you know the ball was dead?

The linesman raises an offside flag as the ball is swung in; back then you didn’t have to be ‘active’ to be called offside.

As the ball comes back out the referee is gesturing as the England forwards walk solemnly back towards the halfway line…


Although still utterly brilliant as it’s obvious that Higuita didn’t realise the flag had gone up.

2 The greatest goal in World Cup history only happened because the referee was blind


For his ‘Hand of God’ opener, us English will always despise Diego Maradona.

For his second in the same game, we will always respect him.

His roulette to start, the way he eats up the ground, leaving helpless defenders in his wake, before rounding Peter Shilton and finishing… it’s breathtaking football.

But if the referee was paying attention, it never would have happened.

Seconds before Maradona collects the ball, Glenn Hoddle is brutally scythed down.

It’s the most obvious foul in history.





The ref is standing about five yards away from the incident as well.

So there you have it, England actually won the 1986 World Cup.

We can say that, right?

3 The ‘greatest dummy ever’ was rendered pointless two seconds later

Pele, was he all that?

The following dummy has featured in countless montages over the years but it’s not often you see the full clip.

With only a defender scrambling around on the line, the legendary Brazilian pulls his shot wide of the far post.

Not much point in mugging off the keeper like that if you struggle with open goals.

4 Jesper Gronkjaer didn’t score the ‘billion pound goal’, someone else did…


We all know the story.

Jesper Gronkjaer scores against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on the last day of the 2002/03 season, allowing Chelsea to beat their opponents to the final Champions League spot.

Legend has it European qualification persuaded Roman Abramovich to invest his billions into Chelsea, sparking the most successful period in the club’s history.

Except it wasn’t the Danish winger’s goal that secured fourth spot.

Marcel Desailly’s equaliser was the crucial goal, as Chelsea only needed a draw because of their superior goal difference.

So when the Frenchman cancelled out Sami Hyypia’s opener, that was the moment Liverpool were relegated into fifth place.

Gronkjaer’s goal merely secured the three points on the day, but Desailly’s was the decisive blow in terms of the whole season.

5 Lionel Messi’s greatest ever goal proved to be merely a consolation


Messi’s Maradona-esque (see entry 2 of this list) goal against Getafe in the Copa del Rey semi-final is simply one of the best goals ever scored.

Shame it counted for f**k all.

Barcelona won the first leg 5-2 thanks to Messi’s magical brace but they somehow lost the second leg 4-0 meaning Getafe won the tie 6-5.

Given how often Messi and Barcelona win, it doesn’t seem right that his most special strike proved a futile effort.

That doesn’t take away from the beauty of it of course.

6 David Beckham’s spine-tingling free-kick against Greece is actually rather hollow

Firstly, refresh your memory.

Enjoy it one last time….

Everyone knows this Becks classic only earned us a draw against a relatively weak team but there’s more.

It’s pretty much the softest free-kick imaginable.

Giannis Goumas wins a header and gently brushes the back of Teddy Sheringham’s shirt on his way down.

For some reason the referee blows up and the rest is history.

Apologies for ruining football forever.