Football

Shay Given Recalls Denis Bergkamp's Iconic Goal 15 Years After Conceding It

Shay Given Recalls Denis Bergkamp's Iconic Goal 15 Years After Conceding It

As you're probably aware from having seen it countless times on social media today, it's 15 years since Dutch legend Denis Bergkamp's iconic Premier League goal against Newcastle.

The flick and spin around Nikos Dabizas before slotting the ball home as become one of the Premier League's most recognisable images as such a fine execution of ball control has been rarely seen in the 15 years since.

It doesn't matter if you're an Arsenal fan or not, if you're a fan of football you've got to love the goal as even the goalkeeper who conceded recognises how special it was.

That man was Shay Given, and speaking on Off The Ball on Thursday night he gave his account from what must have been the best possible vantage point.

Yeah of course it's an unbelievable goal, but at the time I was just thinking 'Oh my God he's scored' or whatever. Bergkamp said he meant it after the game so I'll take his word for it. It was a great bit of skill.

After Kevin Kilbane suggested that his initial reaction was that it was an accident, before watching the replays and acknowledging what a special goal it was, Given agreed that the true beauty of the goal only became evident when he saw it back, as he was not sure what had happened during the game.

Obviously in the course of the game you're focused on what you're doing and stuff and it's like, you're not bemused but it's like 'what just happened there?'

He's through one-on-one with me and obviously he's slotted it in the corner as well, a very composed finish, but it's only when you look back at the replays later that night and you see.. I think Nikos Dabizas has got touch-tight to him and he's got an unbelievable bit of skill to flick it around the corner and spin the other way and get onto it.

Bergkamp's one of the very few that could do that and when he says he means it as well, some players might have claimed it and had a lucky bounce off them or something, but I think deep down he really did mean it. He was a class player.

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One more time, just because...

An absolutely stunning goal.

Given was helpless, as his protection had been well and truly trumped by a moment of pure magic from a player who would eventually have a statue of himself erected outside of Arsenal's stadium.

You can listen to Given's interview with Off The Ball in full over on Newstalk.ie

Mikey Traynor

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