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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG
Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG
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World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501580 Wayne Rooney's bicycle kick versus Manchester City (Feb. 2011) Wayne+Rooney%27s+bicycle+kick+versus+Manchester+City+%28Feb.+2011%29 World

It may yet prove to be the highlight of his career. If it isn't, we can't wait to see what Wayne Rooney has in store for us, because a tie-breaking goal in a hotly-contest derby against a surging rival is near-impossible to beat.

 

The goal spawned a slew of best ever conversations: Best in Premier League history? Manchester United's history? All time?

 

It almost doesn't matter. Wayne Rooney converted a bicycle kick to win a Manchester Derby. Do we need more words?

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/wayne_rooney_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836123_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/wayne_rooney_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836123_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501581 Lionel Messi's game-winner versus Manchester United (May 2011) Lionel+Messi%27s+game-winner+versus+Manchester+United+%28May+2011%29 World

Nothing technical about the goal will stand out, as time goes by. The circumstances of it, however, shouldn't be forgotten.

 

Manchester United had taken Barcelona into half time even, 1-1, kindling hope that Rome 2009 was a fluke. Within nine minutes of the second half whistle, the England champions were reminded who they were playing against.

 

Messi was given a shocking amount of space 28 yards from goal. Within two small steps, he'd taken a touch and let loose with a left-footed shot that swerved just to the left of Edwin van der Sar, giving Barcelona the second goal in a 3-1 win.

 

More memorable than the goal was the celebration. Messi ran the crowd pulling at the crest on his chest. When he reached the boards around the pitch, he frantically pumped both fists, as if trying to channel the cumulative joy of ever celebration he's ever had into that one moment.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/lionel_messi_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836122_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/lionel_messi_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836122_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501575 CR7's Cup-winning goal in the Copa del Rey versus Barca (April 2011) CR7%27s+Cup-winning+goal+in+the+Copa+del+Rey+versus+Barca+%28April+2011%29 World

It was the second of four 'Clasicos' in a 17-day span, Real Madrid having held the defending European champions to a draw four days before. Remarkably, Barcelona had gone over 100 minutes in the Copa del Rey final without beating Iker Casillas, keeping them one moment away from losing the Copa to Real Madrid.

 

The moment came in the 103th minute. Marcelo carries the ball into the attacking third, plays a one-two with Di Maria that releases the Argentine behind Barcelona's line. His touch floats a cross to two yards beyond the penalty spot, when Cristiano Ronaldo rises for a near perfect header - slightly back across goal, just under the bar, practically unstoppable.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/cristiano_ronaldo_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703115_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/cristiano_ronaldo_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703115_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501574 Alexis Sanchez versus Real Madrid (November 2011) Alexis+Sanchez+versus+Real+Madrid+%28November+2011%29 World

Victor Valdes had gifted Real Madrid a first minute lead, raising the specter the hosts would play behind the ball for the rest of the game. Even if they had, it scarcely would have mattered.

 

Lionel Messi dropped the halfway line to pick up the ball. Streaking up the pitch, Messi waiting until the last moment before playing through to Sanchez, coming across the top of the box from the right.

 

In the moment he had before being closed out, Sanchez turned and fired into the small opening he had at the far left post.

 

Two moments pieces of brilliance and the score was tied, as if Barcelona had spotted Real Madrid a goal just to show them how they'd tie it up.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/alexis_sanchez_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703112_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/alexis_sanchez_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703112_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501577 Clarence Goodson's own goal against Panama in the Gold Cup (June 2011) Clarence+Goodson%27s+own+goal+against+Panama+in+the+Gold+Cup+%28June+2011%29 World

Doubts around the United States were neither assuaged nor emboldened after their first game - a lackluster US defeating a lack-everything Canada to open the Gold Cup. Panama promised to be different, so when the US gave away the first goal, it felt like history being written.

 

In the 19th minute, Panama drilled a set piece into a US wall before playing a ball over the US line, into the box for a Nelson Barahona header. All Tim Howard could do was push the shot onto the foot of an oncoming Clarence Goodson, the American defending putting Panama up 1-0 on their way to a historic 2-1 win.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/clarence_goodson_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703111_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/clarence_goodson_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703111_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501586 Yaya Toure's goal vs. Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinal (April 2011) Yaya+Toure%27s+goal+vs.+Manchester+United+in+the+FA+Cup+semifinal+%28April+2011%29 World

Between Michael Owen's Fergie-time goal and Wayne Rooney's bicycle kick, Manchester United had exercised a weird brand of control over their upstart rivals: come as close as you want, but ultimately, we'll do something special to beat you.

 

The FA Cup semifinal represented Manchester City's chance to squelch all that. A knockout round competition where the winner need only beat Stoke or Bolton to claim silverware? It was just short of a cup final.

 

So although Yaya Toure's goal required a good deal of fortune - Michael Carrick with an inane giveaway at the edge of his box - this was still one the goals that mattered most in 2011.

 

Years after Manchester City claim their first Premier League title, they'll be able to look back to the 2011 FA Cup - and the semifinal that proceeded it - and remember where it all started: Yaya's goal to beat United.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/manchester_city_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229002602131_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/manchester_city_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229002602131_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501576 Abby Wambach vs. Brazil in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup (July 2011) Abby+Wambach+vs.+Brazil+in+the+quarterfinals+of+the+Women%27s+World+Cup+%28July+2011%29 World

The US was dead to rights in stoppage time of extra time, a Marta double having given Brazil a 2-1 lead and a view toward the semifinals. Fans watching back in the US were just coming to grips with the end of an era, the number one ranked team in the world about to go out at the final eight.

 

Then, in the 122nd minute, Megan Rapinoe beat her mark down the left flank, creating just enough room to fire a desperate cross at the far post to a remarkably unmarked Abby Wambach. With practically the last play of the game, Wambach headed the US even, in the process thrusting the Women's World Cup into national attention.

 

Five kicks, five penalty conversions later, and the United States had advanced, with Abby Wambach recording one of the most memorable goals in women's soccer history.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/abby_wambach_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703114_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/abby_wambach_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703114_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501579 Homare Sawa, Japan vs. the United States in the Women's World Cup final (July 2011) Homare+Sawa%2C+Japan+vs.+the+United+States+in+the+Women%27s+World+Cup+final+%28July+2011%29 World

The most audacious screenwriter in Hollywood would have written Japan's World Cup story, though nobody would have bought the script. Not only did it have a team overcoming national tragedy to triumph, but it had Japan winning in one of the most ironic fashions thinkable.

 

The US, up 2-1 late in extra time - and only in the final because of their own improbable heroics in the quarterfinals against Brazil - were left stunned in the 117th minute when Homare Sawa's acrobatic redirection of a corner kick beat Hope Solo - the tournament's best player kicking out at the cross, putting it in with the bottom of her boot as she tried to get around her mark.

 

Japan went on to defeat the US on penalty kicks, bringing the World Cup home to a nation still recovering from that winter's devastating tsunami.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/homare_sawa_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836121_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/homare_sawa_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836121_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501582 Tadanari Lee's volley at the Asia Cup for Japan vs. Australia (January 2011) Tadanari+Lee%27s+volley+at+the+Asia+Cup+for+Japan+vs.+Australia+%28January+2011%29 World

It was his first ever international goal, but for Japan international Tadanari Lee, it almost literally could not come at a better time.

 

In the 107th minute of Japan's Asia Cup final against Australia, left wingback Yuto Nagatomo beat his mark to the byline, putting in a remarkably good cross, considering the speed at which he was approaching touch.

 

Equally remarkable: Lee was completely unmarked just shot of the spot in Mark Schwarzer's area. As the ball descended onto Lee's right foot, you could almost see all of Australia's defenders heads following the ball, their eyes wide, waiting for the inevitable.

 

It was a superb hit, the ball dropping at the type of extreme angle that makes it difficult for even professionals to control. Instead, Lee calmly stroked it into the back of Australia's net, sealing the 2011 continental title.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/tadanari_lee_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836124_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/tadanari_lee_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000836124_107_80.JPG
World 2018 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Goals That Mattered 30501578 Giovani dos Santos, for Mexico against the US in the Gold Cup final (June 2011) Giovani+dos+Santos%2C+for+Mexico+against+the+US+in+the+Gold+Cup+final+%28June+2011%29 World

Down only 3-2, the US still had hope, even if the match had been all Mexico since half-way through the first period. Giovani dos Santos extinguished those hopes with a goal that left the US floored, watching as their Gold Cup dreams floated over their head, into their own net.

 

Play through the United States to the edge of Tim Howard's six-yard box, dos Santos saw all avenues to goal closed off the the US `keeper. He pulled back. Howard followed and crawled to try and get the ball off dos Santos's foot.

 

The defenders recovered, tried to close down dos Santos as Howard got to his feet, pushing their adversary to the edge of the penalty area. There, dos Santos had them right where he wanted.

 

He let loose a chip over the lunging Carlos Bocanagra - a shot that looked like it make miss its target. But as Howard ran back to goal toward teammate Clarence Goodson at the far post, he could only watch as the ball found that small space above the jumping defender, into the side netting, to give Mexico their 4-2 final margin.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/giovani_dos_santos_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703113_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/29/giovani_dos_santos_goal_that_mattered_122811_20111229000703113_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 59 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their... Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. Familiar faces may rejoin United States men's national team conversation. Feb 25, 2014 2:41 AM ET 1 59 /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germai... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win Giant thumping brings Ibrahimovic and Co. back to our top ten list. Feb 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET 1 59 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 59 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714