George Best’s legendary reputation still resounds today among fans of footy and among his teammates who played with him during his illustrious career. In total, there were a whopping 179 George Best goals over his 470 appearances proving he was a force to be reckoned with on the pitch.
George’s skills lay in his unfathomable ball control,
“With feet as sensitive as a pickpocket’s hands, his control of the ball under the most violent pressure was astonishing” – Sportswriter Hugh McIlvanney and his record goal-scoring ability which was a combination of confidence, precision and the use of what some would say was a signature move.
Here we’ve gathered the best of the George Best goals scored during his memorable career.
NASL – Spartan Stadium – 1981
Known as the best goal in NASL history this was one of George’s most impressive footballing moments.
Playing for the San Jose Earthquakes at the Spartan Stadium in 1981 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Best danced around no less than five defenders displaying his famous ball control and finished the moment with a powerful shot to his favoured sweet spot in the bottom left of the opposition’s net.
Euro Cup Final – Wembley – 1968
Another Best special was scored at the European Cup Final of 1968 when Man Utd played against Portugal’s Benfica with the final score 4-1 to Man U and Best’s contribution was nothing short of splendid.
After playing his heart out for 92 minutes the star player took advantage of a misplaced long ball, drawing the keeper out from his area with a display of fancy footwork, Best planted a low bottom corner shot into an empty goal.
5th Round of FA Cup – County Ground – 1970
Kim Book will remember the day he took his team to the 5th Round of the FA Cup but for all the wrong reasons.
This was the match where George Best earned his famous double hat trick and a day that both Book and Best fans will never forget.
After a four-week ban for kicking the ball out of a referee’s hands, Best returned to the pitch and he had a months’ worth of pent-up footballing tension to unleash and Northampton’s goalkeeper would pay the price.
Sticking to his signature style Best employed his famous ball control skills and low powerful on target shots at what might as well have been an empty net.
Best kept the crowd and keeper guessing as he scored one goal that ricocheted off his own body, one header, two bottoms left and two bottom right shots.
This game put best in the record book for most goals scored in a single match.
League Cup Tie – Old Trafford – 1970
Proving he is so much more than a goal-scoring machine, Best displayed excellent dribbling skills as well as the grace and balance of a world-class acrobat in this League Cup tie match against Chelsea and the fact that a goal followed was simply a bonus.
Best took a long from the middle of the pitch towards Chelsea’s goal, in an effort to thwart any goal possibilities the unstoppable force of Ron “Cropper” Harris comes charging at Best with a sliding tackle that would have taken down a stampeding bull.
Miraculously, Best evades the “Cropper’s” attempts and tiptoes his way past the goalie and another Chelsea defender to send the ball soaring into the back of the net.
4th Round of League Cup – Old Trafford – 1971
In a demonstration of football physics and mathematical precision Best’s up-and-down effort was rewarded with one of the most superb goals in footballing history.
A skirmish in the Spurs box left Best with an opportunity and he took it. Delicately scooping the ball up and over four defenders and a goalkeeper to score.
The effort left Best and the Spurs defence looking just as bewildered as each other, with Best showing just a hint of smug as he waved to the crowds cheering his skills.
Keeping up with The George Best Hotel in Belfast
These are simply a small selection of the astounding talent George Best brought to the game of football.
As a player, George Best left a lasting legacy behind him and as a person, he was charming, charismatic and loveable.
The George Best Hotel will help fans honour and remember the great man and his astonishing contributions to football. With a huge collection of George Best memorabilia on display, little-known stories and quotes straight from the horse’s mouth and much more. Best fans will certainly have a ball at The George Best Hotel.
Keep following our progress as we create The George Best Hotel in Belfast here and make sure your plans to visit the city next year include a stay with us.