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Remembering Dennis Bergkamp Pulling Off The Greatest First Touch In Football History

Remembering Dennis Bergkamp Pulling Off The Greatest First Touch In Football History

Dennis Bergkamp turns 51 today and it is worth remembering when he produced the greatest first touch football has ever seen against Newcastle United.

At St. James' Park in March 2002, the Dutchman decided it'd be a laugh to absolutely torment Magpies defender Nikos Dabizas, with the Greek defender still running around in circles to this day.

Some, mainly Newcastle fans and Spurs supporters who steadfastly refuse to ever give an Arsenal player credit for anything, will claim that Bergkamp actually miscontrolled Robert Pires' pass into feet and simply lucked out on judging the bounce of the ball before slotting it calmly underneath Shay Given.

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This is where I'd usually say 'skip to 1.50 to watch the goal in all it's glory' but Arsenal's official Youtube channel have included the effort in a mini compilation alongside the non-flying Dutchman's other four greatest strikes for the club and it would probably be a crime against football were you to skip through them.

Look at Dabizas there, having thoughts genuinely cross his mind that Bergkamp might have teleported into the space behind him, his face giving off a look of a lad who's just been presented with a page of algebra to figure out after 10 pints.

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Bergkamp's goal would inspire the Gunners to a 2-0 victory in the North East that day, en route to the club completing their second domestic double in five seasons.

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Bergkamp producing moments of brilliance had become the norm at this point in his career but even his biggest fans couldn't believe this goal.

The effort has regularly been included in the conversation when people debate what the greatest goal scored in Premier League history is and, while it certainly deserves a honourable mention, it wasn't thundered off the crossbar like the crashing of a thousand waves (h/t Dennis Reynolds) like Tony Yeboah's effort against Liverpool in 1995 or Paul Scholes' thwack against Aston Villa in 2006, so it's definitely not the GOAT that some fans claim it to be. Soz, Dennis. But well done on scoring it, anyway.

Where does Bergkamp's taking of Nikos Dabizas' soul rank among the Premier League's greatest goals, for you, though?

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Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics: Football, Dennis Bergkamp, Premier League, Legends, Arsenal, Newcastle United

Joe Baiamonte

Northerner. Assistant Editor of SPORTbible. Studied Journalism and Broadcasting in a portakabin on a car park of Salford University for three years. Believes football peaked with Serie A in the '90s and strong-arms pro wrestling references into as many articles as possible. Neymar once took 50 euros off me during a game of poker.