Stadium VAR screen shows 'decision - no goal'

9 Iconic Goals VAR would have Disallowed

VAR, it's making blood boil across world football.

Since its Premier League introduction in the 2019/20 season, opinion has been divided. But with three full seasons under its belt, VAR is being questioned more than ever.  Footy fans and pundits feel its draining the passion from our beautiful game.

It doesn't matter which club you support, if the league uses VAR, chances are you've felt violated by a crazy VAR decision. Some fans make plenty of noise about getting a rougher deal than others (cough, Arsenal).

But overall, VAR has delivered mixed results. It's helped with some insanely close refereeing decisions but it's also taken away the pure euphoria of a quality goal. Sometimes football is poetry in motion, and before VAR, controversial goals were just part of the game. They added excitement, they added intrigue. 

We've looked back on 9 iconic and controversial goals that would have been totally destroyed by VAR. These goals decided games, they clinched league titles, they forged legends. With VAR, none of them would have existed.

Let's go over to the monitor for a closer look 👀 📺

9 - DIEGO MARADONA - HAND OF GOD - 1986

Is there a more iconic goal in the history of football? Ironically, it was scored with Diego Maradona's hand.  There's no doubt about it, this is the most infamous goal of all time. England vs Argentina, 1986, this goal has become folklore. 

If you've been living under a rock, the 'Hand of God', as Maradona dubbed the opening goal himself, saw Diego punch an aerial ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. That goal has sparked fierce rivalry between the nations to this day. VAR would have snapped it up for breakfast. 

[Shop the Argentina Collection]
 

8 - Raul - UCL Handball - 2001

This one has flown under the radar for far too long. Cast your mind back to 2001, Leeds United, yes Leeds, were in the Champions League. They were also victim to a highly-controversial goal scored by Real Madrid's legendary CF, Raul. Or to be precise, the hand of Raul. 

Raul's blatant handball was evident to all in the Bernabeu except the one man who counted, referee Ryszard Wojcik. Leeds went on to lose the game 3-2 so it was a decisive goal. VAR would have cordoned this off with red tape. Sorry Leeds fans.

[Shop the Real Madrid collection]
[Shop the Leeds collection]

7 - LUIS GARCIA - GHOST GOAL - 2005

"It was a goal that came from the moon – from the Anfield stands," were the words of Jose Mourinho, whose Chelsea team had just been eliminated from a UCL semi-final by Liverpool. Luis Garcia raced onto a poor Peter Cech punch and angled a shot over John Terry, which seemingly didn't cross the line. Slovakian referee Lubos Michel signalled that the goal had been given, sending Anfield into a state of euphoria.

This goal is still an INCREDIBLY salty topic between Chelsea & Liverpool fans to this day. Liverpool edged Chelsea 1-0, courtesy of the ghost goal and went on to produce THAT comeback against Milan in Istanbul. We hate to say it Liverpool fans but with VAR, Chelsea would have faced Milan instead. 

[Shop the Liverpool collection]
[Shop the Chelsea collection]

6 - DARREN BENT - BEACH BALL - 2009


For anyone who isn't a Liverpool fan, this has to be the greatest goal ever scored. At the time, it was hilarious. If you looked up 'irony' in the dictionary, you'd see the tale of this goal.

A Liverpool emblazoned beach-ball drifts across Pepe Reina's 6-yard-box, before Sunderland's Darren Bent hammers a trademark strike against it, deflecting the shot into the onion bag. VAR would have disallowed this goal immediately. Like the fun hoover it really is. 

[Shop the Liverpool collection]
[Shop the Sunderland collection]

5 - THIERRY HENRY - HAND GOAL - 2009

Sneaky, sneaky Thierry. This goal seems to get discussed less these days. We all love Henry, even the neutrals. Nothing can take away from his sheer brilliance. But his handball assist in 2015 caused uproar, when it qualified France for the World Cup at Ireland's expense. 

Henry kept the ball in play with his right hand, before flicking a cross-goal pass to Gallas who nodded home. VAR would have absolutely destroyed this goal and likely awared Henry with a yellow card. This was one of the goals that paved the way for VAR in English & International football. 

[Shop the French collection]
[Shop the Irish collection]

4 - DIDIER DROGBA -  OFFSIDE TITLE - 2010

Picture this; 6 league games remaining; Chelsea & United neck-and-neck in the title race; the two sides face each-other at Old Trafford. Joe Cole gives Chelsea an early lead, only for United to pull one back. Up steps Didier Drogba with a rising drive to give Chelsea a 2-1 victory. The problem? Drogba was absolutely miles offside, even the Blue's could see it. But the goal stood and the game was won.

Chelsea retained their advantage until the end of the season to win the title by a SINGLE point. VAR would have crossed this out and handed the title to United. Ah, the beauty of hindsight. 

[Shop the Chelsea collection]
[Shop the Man United collection]

3 - KIESSLING - SIDE NETTING - 2013

In 2013, Kiessling was credited with a goal as his Bayer Leverkusen won 2-1 at Hoffenheim to (briefly, at least) take over top spot in the Bundesliga. Upon further inspection though, it wasn't really a goal. Lets be real, it's was nowhere near to being a goal - the header missed the posts entirely. 

Kiessling had nodded a header into the side-netting, which slipped through a hole in the net, appearing to go in. Kiessling didn't even celebrate, he held his head in his hands. But once the ref gave the goal, he joined his teammates in muted celebrations. Madness, right? Well VAR wouldn't have stood for it. 

[Shop the Bayern Leverkusen collection]

2 - WAYNE ROONEY - HALF-WAY LOB - 2014

Wazza, the king of the spectacular. Rooney scored 14 goals against West Ham but none topped this effort. In 2014, Rooney scored from 55 yards with a stunning half-volley lob that caught GK Adrian flailing. It made headlines everywhere. The goal has become a thing of legend and gets played daily on MUFC TV. We wouldn't be surprised if Wayne's tattooed the thing on his calf. 

The trouble is, VAR would have shut it down. In the build up to the strike, Rooney clearly gives James Tomkins a healthy nudge which evades the referees attention. VAR decision... no goal.

[Shop the Man United collection]
[Shop the West Ham collection] 

1 - MKHITARYAN - SCORPION KICK - 2016


This is a legendary goal. Before Giroud did his thing, Mkhitaryan was the scorpion OG. It's a truly ridiculous finish, a technique that only a handful of players in world football could execute. Zlatan whipped the ball in from the right and Henrik did the rest, connecting with an audacious scorpion backheel.

Final score, Man United 3 - 1 Sunderland. The issue is, Henrik was miles offside. VAR wouldn't have cared about the technique, they would have chalked this off before you could say 'Red Devils'.

[Shop the Man United collection]

VAR - SHOULD IT STAY OR GO?

Imagine the football world without these 9 iconic goals. No 'Hand of God', no 'scorpion kicks', no 'outrageous Wazza volleys from 55 yards'. That would be a dull, dull world to live in. Well that my friends, is the world of VAR. 

These goals may have been controversial but ultimately there are always winners and losers. These goals have added a healthy dusting of folklore to our beautiful game. 

So the question that remains is, should VAR stay or go?

 

----

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAIL 

RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE DROPS OF THE WORLDS GREATEST CLASSIC KITS

[SUBSCRIBE NOW - 10% OFF YOUR FIRST PURCHASE]

Back to blog

1 comment

Ghost GOAL in 1966 World cup final

Federico

Leave a comment