The first Premier League match of 2020 served up an incredible overhead kick that brought to mind some of the most amazing acrobatic goals ever scored by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic...
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As proven by Alireza Jahanbakhsh on New Year's Day, there are few goals more spontaneously exhilarating than a perfectly executed overhead kick.
In keeping with the spirit of technical excellence, here in no particular order are some of the most iconic scissor and bicycle kicks (yes, there is a difference!) to have ever graced the game.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) vs. Juventus, 2018
Just a few months before he made the move to Turin, Ronaldo knocked his future employers out of the Champions League quarterfinals with a spectacular overhead effort -- so spectacular in fact, that an Argentine journalist who attempted to recreate it ended up in hospital.
2. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) vs. Manchester City, 2011
There can be no doubt that Rooney's powerful overhead kick to win the Manchester derby was a work of instinctive brilliance. Who cares if it came off his shinpad?
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) vs. England, 2012
The fateful night on which Zlatan launched a one-man assault on Joe Hart's professional pride culminated in him somehow scoring an acrobatic, long-range overhead kick that only he would dare attempt.
4. Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United) vs. Liverpool, 2010
Berbatov secured his cult hero status at Old Trafford with a hat trick to down the old enemy, though the Bulgarian maverick's second goal of the afternoon is definitely the one that sticks in the memory.
5. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) vs. Liverpool, 2018
Wales. Golf. Stupendous gymnastic volleys from the edge of the area in Champions League finals. In that order.
6. Emre Can (Liverpool) vs. Watford, 2017
Can himself heralded this beauty as "the best goal I've ever scored" and it's really not that hard to see why.
7. Ronaldinho (Barcelona) vs. Villarreal, 2006
The kind of goal you can watch several dozen times and still have no idea how Ronaldinho successfully controlled the ball, let alone found the back of the net in the same movement. Less an overhead kick, more a contortionist's act.
8. Rivaldo (Barcelona) vs. Valencia, 2001
Another timeless classic from the Barca vault sees Rivaldo rounding off a ridiculously good hat trick with a phenomenal tumbling strike from 18 yards. We believe the correct term is "arrowed."
9. Philippe Mexes (AC Milan) vs. Inter Milan, 2012
📆 OTD in 2012...— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 21, 2019
Philippe Mexès completed football 😂😱 pic.twitter.com/LqFzUR2hni
Not a name you immediately associate with spectacular net-finding prowess, but the French centre-back certainly made a knack for the spectacular -- usually against Inter, as it happens.
10. Oscarine Masuluke (Baroka FC) vs. Orlando Pirates, 2017
You might be wondering why the scorer of this perfect, last-minute overhead kick is wearing gloves and a different kit to everybody else? That's because Masuluke is a goalkeeper -- the only goalkeeper to have been shortlisted for a Puskas Award.
11. Pele (POWs) vs. Nazis, 1981
Perhaps the most iconic overhead kick of all time is the one deployed by a young Brazilian prisoner of war by the name of Pele, who single-footedly defeated the evil Nazi hordes in World War II in the 1981 Sylvester Stallone movie "Escape To Victory."
Liverpool dog lets Sheffield United know they're on its territory
With a big game against Liverpool coming up, Chris Wilder took his Sheffield United squad to a local park to warm up on a chilly day on Merseyside.
However, while limbering up in Stanley Park in the shadow of Anfield, the Blades saw their drills interrupted when a little dog came over to offer his verdict on proceedings.
Everybody's a critic! Little pooch must be a Sheffield Wednesday fan.