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 By Chris Wright

Toe Poke Top 10: Goals from the halfway line - David Beckham second

With a doff of the cap to Wayne Rooney, who netted a fine goal on Wednesday night, here's Toe Poke's pick of our 10 favourite halfway line efforts over the years...

10. Orlando Engelaar, MELBOURNE HEART vs. Central Coast Mariners, 2014

On the same day as Wayne Rooney's effort, former Dutch international Engelaar made a valiant attempt to trump the Englishman in the "long distance goal of the weekend" stakes with an absolute cannon against the Mariners. You can decide for yourself if it was better than Rooney's looping effort against West Ham.

9. Alex Colon, Deportivo Quito vs. Deportivo Cuenca, 2013

Alex Colon of Deportivo Quito thumped a breathtaking goal in off the underside of the crossbar during his side's 5-1 mauling of Deportivo Cuenca in the Ecuadorian Primera A division.

8. Maicon, PORTO 'B' vs. UD Oliveirense, 2013

Porto B's Brazilian centre-back Maicon Periera Roque (plain old "Maicon" to his mates) honked an almighty free kick over the Oliveirense keeper and in without bouncing from well within his own half during a Portuguese second-tier game last year.

Safe to say nobody expected Maicon to attempt something so audacious, least of all the cameraman.

7. Rivaldo, Atletico Madrid vs. BARCELONA, 1998

In which Rivaldo, in customarily nonchalant style, looks up, assesses his options and proceeds to casually waft one in from the half-way line during his Barca heyday.

6. Stefan Ishizaki, Orebro vs. ELFSBORG, 2012

With the Orebro goalkeeper yomping out to clear a throughball, Ishizaki launched the ball back from whence it came -- with the Sweden international's volley bouncing awkwardly up and over the stranded stopper from 70 metres away.

5. Xabi Alonso, LIVERPOOL vs. Newcastle, 2006

Alonso made a bit of a habit of scoring from 50 yards-plus during his Liverpool days, but the Spanish midfielder's spectacular effort against the Toon stands head and shoulders above the rest.

4. Mor Diouf, SUPERSPORT UNITED vs. Mamelodi Sundowns, 2013

Having broken up an attack on the edge of his own area, Diouf wards away his interfering teammates and sets about cracking in an absolute monster from over 70 yards out.

3. Nayim, REAL ZARAGOZA vs. Arsenal, 1995

Having left Tottenham to join Zaragoza a couple of years previous, Nayim popped up to ruin Arsenal's chances of winning themselves the 1995 Cup Winners' Cup by looping a long-ranger over a stranded David Seaman in the final seconds of extra time to win the game 2-1.

Of course, Spurs fans still goad Seaman for letting such a speculative effort slip through his grasp, chanting "Nayim, from the half-way line" in his direction at every available juncture.

David Beckham celebrates after putting himself in the spotlight by scoring from the halfway line against Wimbledon in 1996
A young Beckham made a habit of scoring fine goals.

2. David Beckham, Wimbledon vs. MANCHESTER UNITED, 1996

Who else but the English patron saint of the half-way line goal? Still used as a reference point for every similarly rangy strike scored to this very day, Beckham's arching strike (famously achieved despite wearing someone else's boots) against Wimbledon on the very first day of the 1996-97 season has become an archetype of the genre.

1. Ryujiro Ueda, FAGIANO OKAYAMA vs. Yokohama FC, 2011

Ueda is the current world record holder for the longest distance headed goal ever scored, nodding in from a mammoth 58.6 metres against Yokohama FC (beating a record that was set by Tromso's Jone Samuelsen just weeks earlier) to score the only goal of the game.

Neck. Of. Steel!

Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.


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