In the space of 7 days after FIFA’s Goal of the Year nominations close, we witness, what likely is right up there, in the top goals I have ever seen in competitive football. Both skilled overhead kicks but the real question now beckoning is which one was better (aesthetically).
Goalscorer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Teams: Sweden vs England
Time during the match: 90 + 1′
Competition: International Friendly
Distance to goal: 28 yards
The first goal to take a look at is from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s star striker. He scored this absolute cracker of an overhead kick as his fourth goal of the Three Lions’ friendly demolition. How the physics worked here and Zlatan knew how to line up absolutely every single factor, I will never know. The ball landed directly into the goal from its 25 foot ascension and left Ryan Shawcross only a second too late to make a goal-line clearance. The cause of this goal was really Hart’s error in coming out of the goal to send the ball high from his header instead of electing for distance. Although circumstances may have changed during his charge, after the clearance, there was nothing that could really have been done from Zlatan’s truly unexpected display of skill.
A great clip I found from a friend, HS, was the audio of commentators’ reactions from around the world. The background theme music almost makes it sound magical. You’d think he had scored the World Cup winner if you hadn’t seen the game! Click here.
Goalscorer: Philippe Mexes
Teams: Anderlecht vs AC Milan
Time during the match: 71′
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Distance to goal: 19 yards
The second goal is of Phillippe Mexes, the French international, who magnificently opens his goal-scoring with AC Milan, fondly known as the Rossoneri, with this spectacular bicycle kick.
He takes the cross beautifully with his chest to turn his back to the goal and sends an overhead kick past a stunned Silvio Proto who watches it sail past into the top left corner. This was the real bruiser for Anderlecht; their goalkeeper being there but being unable to block the shot.
I think it’s fair to say that Mexes’ bicycle kick, described as being done in ‘Ibrahimovic style’, had more meaning in the competition and match but I have to say the circumstances don’t change my vote for Zlatan’s 30 yard goal (27.45 metres – only a referee would know this off the top of their head). You don’t need to be a football fan or appreciator of the beautiful game to understand the magnitude of both goals and the skill required to put the ball in the back of the net in both circumstances.
There is no denying that both goals are beauties apart from our everyday goals and despite being days late for the closing of the Puskas award nominations, they will be remembered for the ages. Which goal do you think was best? Do you think these goals deserve the current nominations to be reconsidered?
If you are not a football fan and have come across this post, appreciate the beautiful game!