Tardelli – Italy vs West Germany – 1982

24 01 2011

Alan Smithy writes the blog The Football Hobo and can be followed on Twitter @AlanSmithys .. I recommend you check both out. In the meantime, here’s Alan’s favourite goal … and surely everybody’s favourite goal celebration …


You often hear people use the turn of phrase ‘better than sex’. It’s purely hyperbolic; unless you’re doing it wrong. In which case that’s something I’d rather not enter into right now. The reason why we use this, of course, is because appropriate, or indeed inappropriate, carnal enjoyment ranks up there above just about everything for 99% of us. It’s free, natural, and rather splendid. If you were to describe a particularly good cup of coffee as ‘better than sex’ then it damn well better be that £50-a-cup, sieved from the shit of civets extra-special bean; the stuff that‘s rarer than hen‘s teeth. If you’re getting that feeling in Starbucks then you’re definitely doing it wrong. And I’m not just talking about your coffee consumption.

That all being said, we all know what we mean by the comparison; it’s there to signify the almost unimaginable. That higher plane of enjoyment, a spiritual connection with something ethereal and other-worldly. Better than anything you could possibly chemically induce; better, even, than a really good shit. Imagine hearing a joke that was funnier than sex. You might not be able to imagine that, particularly if you’ve been watching Frankie Boyle’s Tramadol Nights, but transport yourself from the world of comedy to the world of football, and put yourself into a World Cup final. Yep, that thing that you used to imagine in your back garden every afternoon that you came home from school. You’d receive the ball on the edge of the box, all the while commentating away in your head, before steadying yourself, setting the ball and slamming it into the corner of the net.

Your internal monologue would fly off the charts as you ran off to the adulation of the rose bush, which rather inconveniently had to double as the adoring fans. Your finish is that good that John Motson, the walking thesaurus, is struggling to keep up with you. Not for the first time he’s having to reinvent the English language to describe your perfect moment. You repeat this dozens of times, day after day; perfecting the shimmy of your hips, the slamming shot beyond the keeper, your reaction to the stunned galleries. 

You try to imagine how good the feeling would be to win the cup for your team and score the winning goal. You wanted the perfect finish, the perfect moment. The thing is, though, no matter how much you practised and rehearsed your reaction, you were never going to get it right.

Because Marco Tardelli has beaten you to it.

It’s a World Cup Final winning goal, and it’s a great finish from the edge of the box. That apart, it’s just the best celebration that football has ever seen.

If you want to see a man explore the act of experiencing something that is better than sex, then all you need to do is watch Marco Tardelli in the seconds after he tees himself up and drives the ball into the bottom corner to ultimately win the 1982 World Cup for Italy. There won’t be many better goals in World Cup finals than Marco’s. There’ll be better finishes, harder strikes of the ball, better bits of control and skill, but there sure as hell won’t be any better celebrations. For the sheer embodiment of all imaginable joy in a single moment, Marco Tardelli’s goal is my favourite goal.




One response

24 01 2011
Tweets that mention Tardelli – Italy vs West Germany – 1982 « GhostGoal -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alan Smithy, ghostgoal. ghostgoal said: New Blog Post – My Favourite Goal – Tardelli – Italy vs West Germany – 1982 – by @alansmithys ……………. http://tinyurl.com/63ljqbq […]

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