Did Ibrahimovic just score the greatest goal of all time in the recent game against England? Or was it even The Zlatan's best goal ever?
"It was the best goal I have ever seen... an overhead kick from 30 yards when the ball is six feet in the air - only certain players can do that, and he is a special player." - Gerrard on Ibrahimovic's goal against England.
As Ibrahimovic scored THAT 4th goal against England last wednesday, it was immediately hailed as the "greatest goal ever". And you can see why, it was special. For those of you who missed it or need a reminder, this is the goal the media is going so crazy about:
But was it the best goal ever scored in football? I am not so sure it was even Ibra's best goal ever. Here is a selection of my top 5 Ibrahimovic goals prior to this one, and I will let you decide where this goal fits in that list.
5. The Magical Flick That Rocked Italy
Most Italian pundits would agree that the Euro2004 Italy was the greatest Italian side in the last decade, talent wise it was even stronger than the side which won the World Cup 2 years later, or the side that reached the Euro final earlier this year. The Italians were cruizing towards qualification from their group, leading against Sweden. Then there was a momentary panic in the Italian defence caused by a Swedish corner, and just when it looked like Sweden have wasted that half-chance, Ibra produced a moment of sheer magic. A opportunistic "back flick" with his back facing the goal, which loops the ball perfectly above Vieri guarding the post. It was so unbelievable, there was a collective gasp of horror from the group of fellow Azzurri fans watching the game with me, as the ball seemed to be momentarity stuck in the air just out of Vieri's reach before tippling the net. Take a look:
THAT goal knocked Italy out of Euro 2004, and for a few years all Italian fans were convinced that it was a fluke, that goal was studied in slow motion millions of times. There was no way Ibra was intending to score with that flick, not in that stage, even to contemplate such a shot was ridiculous. It was only when Ibra started playing for Juve and later Inter, that this argument was settled. "Ibracadabra" as he came to be known, was no ordinary player - magic was in his blood.
4. Incredible Back heel volley for PSG against Marseille
In his career, Ibrahimovic has probably scored goals from each inch of his boots. This season, in a game for PSG against Marseille, Ibra showed his confidence by scroing an incredible volley off his back heel. This goal may not have the kung-fu acrobatics of many of his goals, but it exemplifies what Ibra is all about - very few players on the planet would attempt something like this, positioned the way he was when the ball reached him. Take a look:
3. Crazy Loop for Milan against Lecce
That Milan depended upon Ibra is an understatement. It was goals like this which enabled Milan to convert enough draws into wins, propelling them to the title. What is so amazing about this goal is his first touch, and the position he took the shot with the defender upon him, where only a perfect lob would beat the well positioned goalkeeper. And a perfect lob it was:
4. That Crazy Flick for Inter against Bologna
It was goals like these that made Ibrahimovic an Inter legend. It is still one of the best goals I have ever seen. Adriano just about manages to cross from the left, a low cross intended for Ibra to control and hold the ball, with his back towards the goal and a defender upon him. Someone of Ibra's talent should be ablo to do that. Instead, Ibra flashes at it with the side of his boot, and to everyone's disbelief, the ball is in the net. Even in slow motion, it looks almost impossible. You have to really watch it frame by frame to appreciate the genius behind that goal. And the most amazing part of this was that Ibra knew the moment he touched the ball that it was a goal. I bet you will watch this more than once:
5. THAT goal for Ajax vs NAC Breda
This is my personal favorite among Ibra's goals. Dribbling past the entire defence in close space, this shows enough skill to make the legendary Cruyff proud. For a tall man to show such skill, this is probably the Ibra's best contender for the greatest goal ever. Words do not do this justice, it has to be watched:
Thats my pick of Ibra's best goals. Where do I think that wonder goal against England sit in this list? I would rank that 3rd, just outside the top 2 above. Where would you rank that goal?
Of course, Ibrahimovic has scored so many great goals that someone else may pick an entirely different selection, and it could be justified. I leave you with a great compilation of goals by "The Zlatan", I would love to hear what are your top 5.