Julio Enciso during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at AMEX Stadium, Falmer, May 2023.

Ranking every MOTD Goal of the Season winner since 2013-14

Julio Enciso’s long-range pinger for Brighton against Manchester City won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season award, but how does his sensational effort compare to every recipient of the honour since 2013-14?

After viewers picked a top three, Gary Lineker got the deciding vote and picked Enciso’s belter from May 2023. In a season of surprisingly few candidates, the Paraguayan was a worthy winner and his strike bought back memories of drool-worthy goals from yesteryear.

But which of these Goal of the Season beauties is the best of the best? We’ve ranked them from ‘worst’ to best in order to answer that question.

10. Julio Enciso (Brighton v Man City, 2022-23)

A dipping, swerving belter that even the City fans applauded – winning the title three days before certainly increased their charity – but we reckon Ilkay Gundogan was robbed of the award this year.

Goal of the Month, certainly. Goal of the Season? We’re not so sure.

9. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal v West Brom, 2014-15)

Wilshere’s net-ruiner was nominated as Goal of the Season following a legion of terminally-online Gunners hijacking the public vote ahead of worthier candidates (Charlie Adam’s halfway line stonker at Stamford Bridge the principle example).

The technique on the Arsenal midfielder’s shot was exemplary. But, paradoxically, it was also the kind of goal any non-league magician worth their salt would fancy replicating.

8. Vincent Kompany (Man City v Leicester, 2018-19)

The context – title on the line, City getting increasingly frustrated – elevated Kompany’s howitzer over the genuinely jaw-dropping Andros Townsend volley at the same end a few months previously.

It remains one of the most iconic goals in Premier League history, a moment to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention. And it’s possibly the best ‘eighth best’ thing there’s ever been.

But somebody has to split hairs and the Leicester press is nothing short of negligent; Kompany had enough time to pick the ball up and hand-place it in the top corner before any opponent would’ve considered closing him down.

Harsh, but we’ve given ourselves an almost impossible task here.

7. Erik Lamela (Tottenham v Arsenal, 2020-21)

Something of a fairground goal this, strangely out-of-place with the strange, eerieness of the COVID-era Emirates.

Of course, it’s a ridiculous effort. Involving the kind of thought process which, if admitted out loud in a public place, would see most of us committed to the nearest asylum.

And Lamela completed the most ‘Lamela’ performance conceivable by getting sent off soon afterwards. Arguably the most ‘Barclays’ goal there’s ever been.

6. Dele Alli (Tottenham v Crystal Palace, 2015-16)

Watching this seven years on, as Dele married perfect technique with an impish sense of mischief to give the Spurs fans at Selhurst Park a collective orgasm, just makes us feel sad.

The boy had it all, now he’s ostracised at Everton. His decline shall be a subject of fascination for scholars in the decades to come.

5. Emre Can (Liverpool v Watford, 2016-17)

The kind of goal you’d break your back trying to copy on a winter’s Sunday morning. Simply ridiculous.

4. Jamie Vardy (Leicester v West Brom, 2017-18)

The raking pass by Riyad Mahrez, Vardy’s cute glance over his shoulder, the cocksure volley and the belligerent celebration… there’s a strong case for calling this the best-underrated goal in football history.

A glorious example of less is more. Perfection.

3. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool v Man City, 2021-22)

We can only imagine Jurgen Klopp’s ire when he clocked Salah taking to the field against Manchester City wearing ballerina shoes.

We can only imagine Klopp’s dumbfounded delight as his star forward danced around opponents before lashing his shot past Ederson’s helpless dive.

To do this in the biggest game of the season elevates footballers from mere mortals to demi-gods. Take a bow, Mo. Take a f*ckin’ bow…

2. Son Heung-min (Tottenham v Burnley, 2019-20)

Salah’s effort owed much to close control, ingenuity and the persistence of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. Son’s effort had all that, plus the injection of pace that’d have seen him finish on the podium at Monaco.

1. Jack Wilshere (Arsenal v Norwich, 2013-14)

The essence of late-Wenger Arsenal in one goal; creativity beyond our comprehension, the beguiling cocktail of arrogance and curiosity to attempt such a feat and the technique to pull it off.

Arsenal ‘bottled’ the title that season in a classically frustrating way, but they often emasculated opponents like nobody else. Hang it in the Louvre.

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