Thursday, 20 Jun 2024

Best Football Matches of All Time

From the Miracle of Bern to the Miracle of Istanbul, this article is about the best football matches of all time.

What was the best game you watched? Every football fan has a unique, personal answer to this question. If you are a Manchester United fan, you will definitely choose the 1999 Champions League final. A match may be special to you because of the feeling you had while watching it. Maybe you were fascinated by Shevchenko in your childhood, and one of his matches at AC Milan is your choice.

But some football matches are more famous than others. We all agree that the 2022 World Cup final was a special game. How many times will Brazil concede seven goals in the World Cup? Or how many times will the winner of the Premier League be decided in the last seconds? How many Zinedine Zidanes are there in the history of football?

So, what are the best football games of all time?

Best Football Matches of All Time

Best Football Matches of All Time
We’ve compiled a list of the 20 best football matches of all time.
Our selections are based on some specific factors. What makes a football match more appealing? Incident!
That’s why we all agree that an implausible comeback can make a memorable game. No one considers a boring goalless draw as a good game. One of the most important factors that is essential to make a good match is simply our old friend: GOAL!
But the incident is not all about the goals, not always. Sometimes, another charming factor comes into the game: Drama!
Football has so many stories in its background. These stories can make a dramatic, theatrical game, especially when they emerge with on-field incidents.
Another important element that can build a reminiscent game is the stage of the match. All the World Cup finals are memorable matches because they are World Cup finals!
So, Let’s waste no more time and look for these factors in this fine article! Which is the best match in football history?

Honorable Mention

  • 1970 World Cup Final – Brazil 4-1 Italy
  • 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final replay – Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United
  • 1984 European Championship Semi-Final – France 3-2 Portugal
  • 1953 International Friendly – England 3-6 Hungary
  • 1966 World Cup Quarter-Final – Portugal 5-3 North Korea

Liverpool 5 – 4 Alaves

Greatest Football Matches of All Time
Let’s start with the 2001 UEFA Cup final.
Liverpool was the favorite side in this match. They beat Olympiacos, Roma, Porto, and Barcelona to reach the final. Alaves reached the final by defeating Rosenborg, Inter Milan, Rayo Vallecano, and Kaiserslautern. The English side took the lead inside five minutes. Steven Gerrard scored the second goal in the 16th minute. Then, the Spaniards showed themselves.

In the 90th minute, the result was a draw of 4-4, meaning extra time would determine the champion. In the 116th minute, an own goal from Delfi Geli broke the Spanish hearts. This was a golden goal. Liverpool won the trophy.

Benfica 5 – 3 Real Madrid

Greatest Soccer Matches Ever
The 1962 European Cup final. Between the legendary side of Real Madrid and the powerful side of Benfica. This was one of the best football matches of all time.

Ferenc Puskas scored a hat-trick in the first half of this match. But the Portuguese scored three goals in the second half and won the game 5-3. Eusebio scored the fourth and fifth goals for Benfica.

This match is considered one of the greatest European Cup finals of all time and one of the greatest soccer matches ever.

Germany 7 – 1 Brazil

Germany 7-1 Brazil
Brazil conceded seven goals in the World Cup semi-finals in their own country. Just wow!

Everyone was waiting for Argentina and Brazil to meet in the final at the Maracana Stadium. But you must never forget about the Germans. They scored five goals in half an hour. Germany scored two more goals in the second half, and everyone was astounded by the incident.

Sixty thousand spectators at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte could not believe what they saw. No one in the world could believe this.

Barcelona 6 – 1 PSG

Barcelona 6-1 PSG
Barcelona conceded four goals in Paris. Their return to the Champions League needed a miracle, which they took.

The match was 3-1 until the sixtieth minute. This means Barca should score three more goals. The last goal was scored in the last seconds of added time. They really did it.

This match is known as La Remontada (which means the comeback). This was the largest comeback in the history of the Champions League.

Liverpool 0 – 2 Arsenal

Best Football Matches of All Time
This is one of the most memorable football matches ever. On 26th May 1989, Arsenal and Liverpool faced each other at Anfield on the final matchday of the league.

Liverpool were crowned FA Cup champions by winning 3-2 over Everton a week ago. Liverpool was at the top of the league table with 76 points, and Arsenal was second with 73 points. The Gunners had to beat Liverpool by two goals difference to win the title. The game came just one month after the Hillsborough disaster.

Arsenal scored the first goal in the 53rd minute. With just one minute left at the end of added time, Arsenal got through Liverpool’s goal with three passes from their own goal. Michael Thomas’s goal made Londoners win the league with the same point and goal difference, and only thanks to more goals scored.

West Germany 3 – 3 France

Best Football Matches of All Time
A 120-minute thriller plus a penalty shootout. West Germany and France’s thrilling battle in the 1982 World Cup semi-finals. Known as one of the best football matches of all time.

The game was 1-1 in normal time. In the first extra time, France scored two goals. Then the Germans made a comeback, and the match went to penalties.

Well, when it comes down to penalties, the Germans win!

Barcelona 1 – 0 Inter Milan

Jose Mourinho
This is one of the classic Champions League games. Pep Guardiola’s side was defeated by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan 3-1 in the first leg. The second leg was held in the Camp Nou.

Thiago Motta was sent off in the 28th minute. Could Inter Milan hold on for 60 minutes against Barcelona at Camp Nou with ten men? Yes, they could!

A goal from Pique in the 84th minute was not enough. With their well-organised team defense, Jose Mourinho’s side managed to win 3-2 on aggregate and reach the finals. They beat Bayern Munich in the final, completing their only European treble.

Roma 4 – 5 Inter Milan

Best Football Matches of All Time
Many consider this game the greatest match in the Serie A history. And, of course, one of the best football matches of all time.

On May 3, 1999, AS Roma and Inter Milan faced each other in the Olimpico Stadium. Both teams desperately needed to win this game. Roma to secure the Champions League qualification and Inter to keep alive their UEFA Cup hopes.

It was with two assists from Roberto Baggio that Ronaldo and Zamorano made the game 2-0. Francesco Totti made it 2-1. Then Zamorano made it 3-1, this time with Javier Zanetti’s assist.

In the second half, Giallorossi scored two goals and then came back to level. But then Ronaldo took the lead again for Inter in the 56th minute. An 80th-minute assist from Francesco Totti and a strike from Eusebio Di Francesco made the result 4-4.

In the final minutes of the game, Roberto Baggio took a free kick and delivered his third assist. Diego Simeone scored the last goal of the match.

Liverpool 4 – 0 Barcelona

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona
Liverpool lost the first leg 3-0 at the Camp Nou. They needed a dream comeback at Anfield. You know what happened next.

With a 4-0 win, the Reds open their way to the final. Lionel Messi and Barcelona returned home with empty hands.

Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the final to win their sixth European title.

England 4 – 2 West Germany

England 4-2 West Germany
The 1966 World Cup final was a great match. The game was played at Wembley Stadium in the presence of one hundred thousand spectators.

A 2-2 draw saw the match continue in extra time. Geoff Hurst scored twice in extra time for England, completing his hat-trick.

Bobby Moore received the trophy from Queen Elizabeth and took it over. England won their only major trophy.

Manchester City 3 – 2 QPR

Best Football Matches of All Time

Agueroooooooo… I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again. So watch it, drink it in. Two goals in added time for Manchester City to snatch the title away from Manchester United, stupendous!

  • Match Commentator Martin Tyler

The Premier League champion changed in the last seconds. It was the Citizens’ first Premier League title, which was achieved in a super-dramatic way. One of the best football matches of all time in the Premier League, indeed!

Martin Tyler was right. We’ll never see anything like that again.

Argentina 3 – 3 France

Mbappe vs Argentina
When Messi wants to win the World Cup by any means, but Mbappe does not back down. What a match!

A hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe, two goals from Lionel Messi, a thrilling penalty shootout, a memorable World Cup final.

This is a beautiful game.

Italy 3 – 2 Brazil

Best Football Matches of All Time
The match between Italy and Brazil in the 1982 World Cup is one of the most important matches in football history. This was a determinate game.

It was a dispute between two philosophies of football. Brazil played Jogo Bonito, and Italy played Catenaccio—an all-offensive football vs a defensive style. Jogo Bonito -means the beautiful game- lost the game.

Zico, the star of Brazil in that World Cup, once said: “The world of football will pay a price for Brazil’s defeat against Italy.” What do you think?

West Germany 3 – 2 Hungary

Best Football Matches of All Time
The Miracle of Bern. A classic match and one of the best football matches of all time.

Hungary was by far the most powerful side of the era, known as the Golden Team and the Mighty Magyars. They haven’t lost in four years. They had scored 25 goals in four matches on their way to the final. Their opponent, West Germany, lost to them 8-3 in the group stage. They should’ve been champions.

In the 1954 World Cup final in Bern, Switzerland, Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor put Hungary 2-0 ahead inside eight minutes. It all looked like the Germans were about to suffer another humiliating defeat. But then the Miracle of Bern happened.

West Germany won the match 3-2 and took the trophy. The Golden Team got the silver medal.

Liverpool 3 – 3 Newcastle

Best Football Matches of All Time
The match between Liverpool and Newcastle in 1996 is a classic Premier League game. The match was played at Anfield on April 3, and both teams needed three points to keep their place in the title race.

By the 90th minute, the result was 3-3. Then, one of the most iconic goals in the history of the Premier League was scored. John Barnes passes to Ian Rush, Rush to Barnes, Barnes to Rush, Rush to Barnes, Barnes to Collymore, and goal!

A generous feast of excitement and beauty at Anfield.

Argentina 2 – 1 England

Goal of the Century
What is the most famous football game ever played? Well, two of the most famous goals in football history were scored in this match. One of the best football matches of all time, indeed!

The game was played with a political background, only four years after the Falklands War between England and Argentina. Now, it was time for a football war.

In the 51st minute, Diego Maradona scored the Hand of God goal. He faked a header with his left hand, taking the lead for his side. When Maradona was asked about the goal at the post-game press conference, he said the goal was scored “a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.”

Four minutes after the Hand of God goal, the Goal of the Century was scored. Diego Maradona dribbled the whole of England to score one of the most beautiful goals of all time.

What a game, what a legend!

Manchester United 2 – 1 Bayern Munich

Best Football Matches of All Time
This is one of the greatest football matches of all time.

Manchester United stepped on the field without Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. Bayern Munich proceeded cool and dominant as they assumed for 85 minutes that they were the champions. Why didn’t it happen this way? Because Ferguson wasn’t a loser.

Between the two halves, the boss ran his strong Scottish accent through the dressing room:

At the end of this game, the European Cup will be only six feet away from you, and you’ll not even be able to touch it if we lose. And for many of you, that will be the closest you will ever get. Don’t you dare come back in here without giving your all.

  • Sir Alex Ferguson

As Teddy Sheringham scored the first goal for Manchester United in the 30th second of added time, match commentator Clive Tyldesley shouted: They are still in the European Cup…

Italy 1 – 1 France

Zidane Materazzi
This is a special match because of one man: Zinedine Zidane!

It was his very last game. Zizou stood against Buffon in the seventh minute and scored the most beautiful penalty ever. He was a work of art on the football field. A dancer in the light. Elegant and graceful.

His feet told us that he loved football. It was his last game, and he still wanted to play. He was at the end of the road and wanted to continue. He whispered under the lips: “In the silence, you don’t know. You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on…”

Then destroyed Marco Materazzi.

Italy 4 – 3 West Germany

Best Football Matches of All Time
This match is known as the Game of the Century. This is undoubtedly one of the best football matches of all time—an iconic semi-final in the 1970 World Cup.

Italy was going to win the match in normal time. But Karl-Heinz Schnellinger scored the equalizer for West Germany in added time, sending the game to extra time.

Five goals were scored in extra time, the record for the most goals scored in extra time in a World Cup match. First, Gerd Muller scored for West Germany. Then Italy scored two goals and went ahead again. Gerd Muller scored the equalizer in the 110th minute. Gianni Rivera scored the winning goal for Azzurri in the 111th minute.

The Game of the Century, indeed!

Liverpool 3 – 3 AC Milan

The Miracle of Istanbul
The Miracle of Istanbul. The magic of football.

AC Milan scored three goals in the first half. They had one of the strongest squads of all time. Everything had to say about their decisive victory. As long as Steven Gerrard scores the first goal.

Liverpool scored three goals in six minutes (54-60 minutes). Everyone thought it was over, but it wasn’t. They were back in the game. They made it 3-3.

Milan carried out countless attacks, and none of them worked. Jerzy Dudek spent his best day in Liverpool’s goal, and Andriy Shevchenko had a nightmare on Milan’s front line.

Liverpool won on penalties. They won the trophy miraculously.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the greatest football match of all time?
  2. Who scored the Hand of God goal in Argentina vs England?
  3. What is the Miracle of Istanbul?
  4. Which match changed the Premier League champion in the last seconds?


These are just some of the best football matches of all time. Each game has its own unique story and moments that captivated fans around the world. Football is a game full of passion, drama, and unforgettable moments. Whether it’s a stunning comeback, an incredible individual performance, or simply a clash of titans, these matches remind us why we love the beautiful game.

Stay tuned for more thrilling football content from Zerobertooficial!