Anyone can score a good goal. A swing of the foot, a lucky connection, and a ball that on any other day – on every other day – flies wildly high and wide this time rockets into the top corner. This is how Nemanja Matic ends up on the shortlist for the Puskás Award.
The only fail-safe method of proving a goal was no fluke is simple: do it again, and again. Just as Dennis Bergkamp’s goal for Holland against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup made his earlier effort for Arsenal against Leicester all the finer, what makes Simon Cox’s goal for Swindon against Walsall in January 2009 even more mind-blowingly amazing is the goal he scored in a friendly against Fenerbahce in July 2008. The goals are not identical, but they are extremely similar. A long, high ball brought perfectly under control with a single gossamer touch from a player running into the centre of the pitch from the left, and an arcing, long-range shot that flew over the goalkeeper and dipped into the far corner.