Ligue 1 showcases some of Europe’s finest talents, and is a regular host of some of the best finishes in world football. The likes of Edinson Cavani, Neymar and Mariano have set France’s top league alight throughout 2017 with a variety of sublime goals, but what are the top 10 standout moments of brilliance before the winter break?
#5: Neymar vs Bordeaux
The Brazilian’s many individual highlights could have comprised the whole list, but one particular finish does stand out. With the pressure of his astronomical price tag attached firmly to his shoulders, Neymar hovered over a dead ball situation roughly 30 yards out.
The former Barcelona man stepped up and smashed the ball perfectly, watching on as his effort sailed into the top left corner, leaving the goalkeeper simply stood marvelling. Everything about the finish: the short run up, the breaths to compose himself and the textbook technique could be described as true footballing poetry. What a finish.
#4: Kurzawa vs Toulouse
Layvin Kurzawa most likely doesn’t cross the white line onto a pitch expecting to score absolute screamers. But against Toulouse, in front of an expecting crowd at the Parc des Princes, the unlikely did happen.
Once again, to nobody’s surprise, Neymar was involved. The world’s most expensive footballer swung in a delightful delivery, with the perfect amount of dip and swerve, straight to Kurzawa who stood waiting on the penalty spot. The full-back was already hanging in the air as the ball came in, and the contact was sweet. A hooked volley took the effort beyond Alban Lafont and into the far corner.
#3: Avelar vs Montpellier
Amiens have enjoyed a surprising campaign so far in Ligue 1, punctuated with individual moments of skill to pick up crucial points in what is rapidly proving such a tight division. Perhaps the best of them all is Danilo Avelar’s sumptuous finish against Montpellier.
With his team facing a 1-0 defeat, Avelar cropped up in the 88th minute and rescued a point with a moment of divine inspiration. A corner was headed up into the air, and Avelar watched the ball come down over his shoulder just inside the penalty area. With a bank of Montpellier players charging in to block, the full-back swung a right leg and smashed the ball into the back of the net with a sweet volley.
#2: Malcom vs Dijon
The much-coveted Brazilian winger is reportedly in transfer negotiations with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester, and his wonder goal against Dijon demonstrated why his talents are wanted at the Emirates and Old Trafford.
Malcom picked up the ball on the right side of the pitch, before skipping infield. With one glance up, and the realisation the whole of Dijon defence still had to be traversed, the Brazilian let fly from 35 yards and ripped an effort into the top corner.
It was a shot of real class and ambition, and with that kind of confidence brimming throughout him, Malcom is sure to prove his worth when his inevitable big money move does happen.
#1: Fekir vs Bordeaux
In such a list of panache and sheer audacity, it was difficult to choose one goal for the top spot. After many reshuffles, Nabil Fekir deservedly runs out as the winner.
Everything about this goal is just perfection personified – the surge over the halfway line the look up to see Benoit Costil standing off his line off guard, and the ability to use the instep to balloon the ball perfectly into the back of the net.
Beckham’s done it, Rooney’s done it, and now Fekir is the next to join the ranks.