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Top 10 best bicycle kicks in football history

Published at :December 01, 2023 at 07:21 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:09 AM
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Manav Chowdhury


These are instances when a near-perfect moment may momentarily stop millions of people in their tracks

The are few things in football that thrill fans, like a perfectly executed bicycle kick. The sight of seeing a player kicking an aerial ball backwards with his back facing the goal is absolutely incredible, some of the best goals in football history have been bicycle kicks. The bicycle kick is known by various other names. Some of these are scissors kick, overhead kick, or acrobatic goal.

Some people have near-perfect mastery of the art of football. However, there are instances when a near-perfect moment may momentarily stop millions of people in their tracks, and the best bicycle kick goals can be the best example of this aspect. Here we look at the top ten greatest bicycle kicks in Football history:

10. Marco van Basten vs Den Bosch (1986)

Marco van Basten is regarded as arguably one of the greatest strikers in football history, the Dutchman also scored a sublime overhead kick at Ajax in 1986. A high cross was floated in from the right and van Basten peeled away from two defenders and swung his body into the air, meeting the ball with the sweetest connection and sending it soaring right into the top corner of the goal past the Den Bosch keeper.

9. Trevor Sinclair vs Barnsley (1997)

QPR played out a thrilling FA Cup Fourth Round match with Barnsley and the West London outfit emerged as 3-2 winners thanks to a moment of pure footballing genius from a young Trevor Sinclair. A deep, hopeful cross was sent in from the right, the ball wasn’t even going to enter the penalty area. That was no problem for Sinclair, who was in the right position to meet the ball with an outstanding overhead kick that had enough power on it to fly over the Barnsley goalie and into the back of the net, despite the attacker being outside the box at the time.

8. Emre Can vs Watford (2017)

Emre Can was hardly a prolific goalscorer during his time at Anfield, but his overhead kick in May 2017 was special.  This goal was pretty unique based on the fact that the German midfielder was actually making a run into the Watford penalty area when the ball was delivered to him. As a result, he only had a split second to adjust his body to be in the right place so he could meet the ball with a perfect bicycle kick that flew past the Hornets’ goalkeeper.

7. Wayne Rooney vs Manchester City (2011)

There will be people truly staggered that this goal is coming in so low on this list and those people do have a point. Arguably one of the most iconic goals in Premier League history, Wayne Rooney’s goal against Man City in 2011 is also the greatest goal ever scored in the Manchester Derby. What makes the goal even more impressive is that Nani’s cross into the box was deflected on its way in giving Rooney little time to think, but still, he managed to score it.

6. Philippe Mexes vs Anderlecht (2012)

AC Milan defender, Philippe Mexes, was known for his defensive qualities and didn’t score goals. But his first goal for the club was memorable. It came in a Champions League game against Anderlecht in 2012. Mexes chested a free kick on the edge of the Anderlecht box with his back to goal and lashed a looping bicycle kick beyond the goalkeeper.

5. Rivaldo vs Valencia (2001)

Barcelona were on the verge of missing out on Champions League qualification in the 2001 season and came up against league leaders Valencia. Rafael Benitez’s Valencia side was a tough side to beat, but Rivaldo inspired Barca to a memorable win scoring a hat-trick. Frank de Boer lofted the ball to the forward, who was standing on the edge of the Valencia box and he chested up into the air with his back to goal before smacking a powerful bicycle kick into the bottom corner and sending the Nou Camp into delirium.

4. Alejandro Garnacho vs Everton (2023)

Alejandro Garnacho’s incredible bicycle kick in a 3-0 win for Manchester United over Everton this season is a goal that will live long in the memory and will almost certainly go down as one of the best goals in Premier League history. The youngster leapt high into the air with his back to goal and produced a remarkable bicycle kick from 15 metres that sent the ball straight into the top corner. The accuracy and perfection of his strike was top-notch.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs England (2012)

Zlatan Ibrahimović is considered one of the best finishers in football history and one of his finishes turned out to be among the greatest bicycle kicks in football ever. An international friendly match between England and Sweden was tied at 2-2 when Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to take matters into his own hands. Having scored Sweden’s two goals, Zlatan put his side up 3-2 with a 30-yard free-kick to complete a hat trick.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Juventus (2018)

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored some stunning goals in his career, but arguably the best was the bicycle kick he netted against Juventus for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 2018. The goal was so good that UEFA awarded it as the Goal of the Season. The Juventus defenders and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon could only watch in wonder, while Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, grabbed his head in astonishment. Furthermore, the home fans got to their feet to give Ronaldo a standing ovation. No surprise, then, that he joined Juventus at the end of the season.

1. Gareth Bale vs Liverpool (2018)

The score was locked at 1-1 between Real Madrid and Liverpool with just under half an hour left to play when Marcelo delivered a hopeful cross from the left. The ball sent in was behind Bale, who instinctively thrust his body into the air so he could meet it with a spectacular bicycle kick that flew past a helpless Loris Karius into the back of the goal. The Welshman would score again later in the match, as Los Blancos wrapped up their 13th Champions League title.

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