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Matt Le Tissier - great goalscorer, scorer of great goals

Great Goalscorer and Scorer of Great Goals are designations given by pundits to players. Due to the two terms having primarily the same words but in a different order, idiots such as Alan Shearer , Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen believe their use constitutes a clever turn-of-phrase.

As such they use the terms quite often, whilst Lineker sighs and comfort-eats his way through one of those mixed sixes of Walkers Crisps.

Pundits who subscribe to the terms do so in seeming ignorance of the likelihood that there may be some correlation between the two (i.e - the kind of people who score a lot of goals are statistically-speaking, eventually going to score a couple of crackers) and fawn over a select group of players who are seen to be Great Goalscorers and Scorers of Great Goals.

Great Goalscorers[]

A great goalscorer is simply a player who scores a lot of goals, generally applied to 'fox-in-the-box' type strikers such as Lineker himself, Kevin Phillips, horse-racing injury-magnet Michael Owen and perpetually-just-offside Italian Filippo Inzaghi. However, almost any striker with a goals:games ratios of 1:2 or better in one of the proper leagues (La Liga, Seria A, Premier League, Bundesliga) can be considered. For midfielders, the goals:games ratio threshold is generally lower.

Scorers of Great Goals[]

A Scorer of Great Goals is a label applied to anyone who has scored enough ridiculous goals for them to definitely not have all been flukes. Any BBC Goal of the Season compilation from the lower leagues of English football is proof that dire players can score great goals. To be considered a scorer of great goals one must therefore have a level of consistency, scoring quite a few great goals over the course of your career. Examples include Dennis Bergkamp Gianfranco Zola, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham who, whilst having not scored enough to be considered particularly prolific, made a particular effort to make every goal they did score an absolute peach.

Players such as Roberto Carlos, who occasionally scored an absolutely insane goal but largely ended up blasting the ball into Row Z, do not qualify.

Great Goalscorers and Scorers of Great Goals[]

The initial discovery that a player could simultaneously be a Great Goalscorer and a Scorer of Great Goals is thought to have occured during a discussion between Gary Lineker, Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen about Matt Le Tissier , captured after the filming of Match of the Day.

On hearing host Gary Lineker speak the name, Hansen was heard to say 'Great goalscorer'. After a second of consideration, Lawrenson weighed into the debate, adding with a little smirk: 'AND...a scorer of great goals'. Since then the pair have used the term approximately 36 times a programme in reference to a variety of players, both correctly and incorrectly.

Players incorrectly touted as Great Goalscorers and Scorers of Great Goals[]

  • Frank Lampard - Lampard has scored a lot of goals, and many of them have been from 20+ yards. However, the majority of these goals were as a result of an array of bizarre deflections and most of the rest were penalties.
  • Steven Gerrard - Gerrard has indeed scored some great goals, and scored over 100 Premier league goals. However, his reputation as a prolific goalscorer is largely based on the misapprehension that he plays in central-midfield. In reality Gerrard spent the peak of his club level either injured or playing as a second-striker, a role which largely entailed waltzing to the edge of the 18 yard box unchallenged and hammering shots at goal whilst the entire defence milled around desperately trying to mark Fernando Torres. Similarly, his status as Liverpool's set-piece specialist also boosted his stats, most notably in the 2013-14 season when the Premier League instituted a rule that Liverpool should receive a penalty whenever anyone went near Luis Suarez. As such, Gerrard's 1:4 ratio is less impressive than it seems on face value.

Players correctly labelled as Great Goalscorers and Scorers of Great Goals[]

  • Marco Van Basten - Van Basten is probably the epitome of a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals due to his ungodly strike rate and because of goals like that sick volley against the USSR in Euro '88 , or that ridiculous header against Real Madrid in the European Cup .
  • Matthew Le Tissier - Unrealistically, given that he played for perennially 17th Southampton, Le Tissier scored loads of goals. Whilst many were penalties, every single one that wasn't included either a 50 yard dribble past 3 or more defenders or was belted in from 25 yards.
  • Paul Scholes - Diminuative pass-master Paul Scholes, despite never being an alloted penalty or free-kick taker during his career, garnered an excellent goals:games ratio for a midfielder. This, combined with the fact that about about a third of his goals were 20-25 yard piledrivers and another third spectacular headers (unrealistically so, on account of his miniature stature), means he is largely held to have been both a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi - Over the last 5 years Ronaldo and Messi have emerged as two pre-eminently great goalscorers who also score their fair share of great goals.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Better-version-of-Dimitar-Berbatov Zlatan takes the piss in this regard and has made a pretty decent case for being the 3rd best player in the world behind the above 2 by opting to score only the most ludicrous of goals. This was taken to its logical conclusion in a friendly against England when he scored a 30 yard overhead kick past a scrambling Joe Hart, who had been caught unawares readjusting his dandruff-free mop following a poor headed clearance.
  • Basically any attacking player for Brazil between the years of 1993 and 2003 - Players such at Fat Ronaldo , Rivaldo and Ronaldinho all fulfill the criteria.


There is a contrived and chummy debate as to 'whether penalties count'. Despite noted penalty-taker Alan Shearer claiming that they do, everyone else broadly agrees that 'they basically count as half a goal at best'