Roberto Baggio

Football's 25 most iconic images: From Sergio Aguero's winner to David Beckham's disgrace

Football, the beautiful game. Throughout the years, the sport continues to provide something special.

From Paul Gascoigne's wonder goal against Scotland to John Terry's slip at a pivotal point, the cameras are always there to capture the moments.

The story of a match can be told by one still image. Whether it be that winning goal or incredible save, football's biggest moments have forever been remembered through imagery.

With no football in England until April 30 at the earliest, Tom Carnduff looks at 25 of the most iconic images.

Watching the chaos

Materazzi and Rui Costa

Marco Materazzi and Rui Costa look on as the San Siro turf is bombarded with missiles during the Milan derby in 2005.

The game took place at the quarter-finals stage of the Champions League, which was disrupted by numerous incidents of crowd trouble.

Eventually, the game was abandoned and AC Milan were awarded a 3-0 win.


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pictured above scoring the winner in Manchester United's historic 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 1999.

Mario Basler has fired the German giants ahead with just six minutes played, but two injury time goals from Teddy Sheringham and the now-United boss handed Alex Ferguson's men the title.

A bad slip

John Terry

From overwhelming joy for one English side in winning European glory to despair for another.

Manchester United would be involved in another Champions League final in 2008 - this time against Chelsea.

Captain John Terry slipped at the crucial moment and knocked his penalty wide, resulting in United lifting the trophy once again.

Keown on the wind-up

Martin Keown

Throughout the 2000s, Arsenal and Manchester United was a rivalry like no other.

That can be seen clearly above when Martin Keown shouts in the face of Ruud Van Nistelrooy after he missed a penalty at Old Trafford.

Wally with the brolly

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren will be regarded by many as one of the worst England managers.

He was branded the 'wally with the brolly' as he watched his side fail to qualify for the European Championships in 2008 after defeat to Croatia at Wembley.


Sergio Aguero

Probably the most famous Premier League moment, and it's hard to imagine what could possibly top it in the future.

Manchester City needed to beat Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium but found themselves 2-1 down in the 90th minute.

Edin Dzeko scored before Sergio Aguero popped up to strike in the final seconds to hand City their first ever Premier League title.

England become world champions

Bobby Moore

What else needs to be said here? England celebrate winning their first, and only, World Cup after a 4-2 victory over West Germany in 1966.

The Hand of God


It would be no such joy in 1986. The influential Diego Maradona was a star for Argentina, but became public enemy one in England.

He'd latch on to a ball forward and used his hand to tip it over Peter Shilton in goal.

Remarkably, Maradona would also score one of the greatest goals ever in the same game when he dribbled around almost every member of the opposition.

Dudek the hero

Jerzy Dudek

Liverpool earned a historic fifth Champions League title in 2005, and came back from 3-0 down to do it.

AC Milan had raced into a first-half lead but Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso struck before the hour mark.

The game would go to penalties and Jerzy Dudek saved the vital spot kick to send the trophy back to Anfield.

Trautmann wins FA Cup

Bert Trautmann

Up there as one of the most famous FA Cup moments is Bert Trautmann's injury.

He was in goal for Manchester City during the 1956 FA Cup final when they were victorious over Birmingham City.

Following a collision with Peter Murphy, the German stopper had complained about a pain in his neck. It turned out days later that he'd actually broken it and played the remainder of the game with the injury.

Butcher with a bandage

Terry Butcher

One of the most iconic images for English football is down to Terry Butcher. He cut his head open during the goalless draw with Sweden in 1989.

The defender had his head bandaged up, but it wasn't enough to stop the blood from flowing.

Liverpool win it again

Jordan Henderson lifts the European Cup for Liverpool

Liverpool returned to the top of European football as they beat Tottenham in the 2019 Champions League final.

Mohamed Salah got Liverpool's first with a penalty just minutes in before substitute Divock Origi wrapped up the result with a strike in the 87th minute.

Defenders in a mess

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer to have ever played the game.

The above image shows the damage that he does regularly to the opposition.

During the 2014 World Cup, the Bosnian defence end up tripping over themselves as they tried to stop the Argentinian forward. They'd have no luck as he would go on to score.

5000/1 Premier League champions

Andrea Bocelli at Leicester City

Very rarely does football throw up achievements such as Leicester's Premier League triumph.

Claudio Ranieri's men had started the season as huge 5000/1 outsiders for the title, but a remarkable campaign saw them lift the trophy back in 2016.

The final home game of the season came against Everton, and the crowd fell silent as Andrea Bocelli sang Nessun Dorma before the players came out.

A real spine-tingling moment.


Gareth Bale

Sometimes, photos just line-up perfectly as is the case above.

Gareth Bale scored the winning goal for Real Madrid in their Champions League success over local rivals Atletico in 2014.

A priceless result for the LaLiga giants.

Zidane's walk of shame

Zinedine Zidane

Current Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane saw his 2006 World Cup final end early as he was shown a red card in the 110th minute.

Referee Horacio Elizondo was given no choice but to send off Zidane for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi's chest in retaliation to Materazzi's verbal provocation.

Italy would go on to win the game in a penalty shoot-out.

Contrasting emotions

Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio had a great World Cup in 1994, scoring five goals in the run-up to the final.

However, that would mean little as he blasted his penalty over the crossbar.

If he had scored, it would have levelled the game. Instead, Brazil would go on to win the shootout 3-2.

The horrific 'injury'


Spare a thought for Rivaldo, who suffered this horrific injury at the World Cup in 2002.

Well, not quite.

Whilst lining up at a corner, the ball was kicked towards the Brazilian by their opponents Turkey. Instead of controlling it, Rivaldo allowed the ball to hit him before spectacularly falling to the floor.

Rivaldo’s dive resulted in the Hakan Ünsal being red carded by South Korean referee Kim Young-Joo. Brazil would go on to win the World Cup that year.

Cantona lashes out

Eric Cantona

This kung-fu kick by former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona launched at Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons, moments after being sent off at Selhurst Park, still resonates as one of sport's most extraordinary events.

Cantona was handed a nine-month ban and ordered to serve 120 hours of community service.

The postman delivers

Mario Balotelli

"When I score, I don't celebrate because it's my job. When a postman delivers letters, does he celebrate?" - those were the words of Italy striker Mario Balotelli at Euro 2012.

Sure enough, he scored against Germany and removed his top in celebration.

I'm yet to see my postman do this in the morning.

Beckham becomes public enemy number one

David Beckham

Often regarded as one of England's greatest footballers, David Beckham became the victim of a witch hunt when he was sent off against Argentina in 1998.

The midfielder kicked out at Diego Simeone in front of referee Kim Neilsen, leaving him no choice but to send Beckham off.

England would go on to lose the game on penalties.

England run riot in Munich

Germany 1-5 England

One of English football's finest moments came in Munich in September 2001.

Germany had taken the lead through Carsten Jancker in the 6th minute before Michael Owen hit back minutes later.

Despite the score being 1-1 at the break, four second-half goals from Owen, Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey would hand England a huge victory in their World Cup qualifier.

Moran the first man off in the Cup final

Kevin Moran

Kevin Moran became the first man to be sent off in an FA Cup Final when he was given his marching orders by referee Peter Willis in 1985.

His tackle on Peter Reid saw him shown a red, despite protests from his Manchester United team mates.

Even with a man missing, United would still beat Everton 1-0 after extra-time.

Banks denies Pele

Gordon Banks

Often described as the 'save of the century', Gordon Banks would deny Pele during the Mexico World Cup in 1970.

The England goalkeeper managed to get across his line to stop Pele's header from point-blank range.

Despite that save, England would still lose 1-0.

Gazza's cheeky celebration

Paul Gascoigne

The final image in this series comes from Paul Gascoigne.

Terry Venables inspired the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the Euros in 1996 weeks after his midfield maestro was snapped in a 'dentist’s chair' on a night out in Hong Kong.

'Gazza' would score a fantastic goal against Scotland, and his team-mates helped him to recreate the infamous moment.

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