In Focus: Five of the most memorable overhead kicks

Matthew Storey
LiveScore
Gareth Bale scored a brilliant overhead kick in the 2018 Champions League final
Gareth Bale scored a brilliant overhead kick in the 2018 Champions League final

Lionel Messi started the latest season of his glittering career with a bang as Paris Saint-Germain won 5-0 at Clermont Foot.

The Argentine superstar netted a brace, rounding off the scoring with a quite brilliant overhead kick.

And LiveScore have picked out five of the most memorable acrobatic strikes from years gone by.

Gareth Bale (Real Madrid vs Liverpool, 2018)

On the biggest stage of all, Gareth Bale produced a moment of magic in the 2018 Champions League final.

With the game tied at 1-1, Marcelo put in a speculative cross that was directed well behind Bale in the box.

But the Welshman, often unfairly derided by Real Madrid fans and the Spanish press, did not think so.

Using his stronger left foot, he connected with the ball some six feet above the ground and watched it sale into the top corner.

It was up there with the best goals ever seen in a European final — an iconic moment.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United vs Manchester City, 2011)

Wayne Rooney's overhead kick won the Manchester derby in February 2011
Wayne Rooney's overhead kick won the Manchester derby in February 2011

It is 30 years since the Premier League began — and Wayne Rooney’s 2011 bicycle kick is one its standout moments.

Newly-rich Manchester City wanted to upset the natural order and headed to fierce rivals Manchester United knowing a win could make a huge statement in the title race.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, Rooney’s overhead kick sailed into the top corner to give the Red Devils a vital three points as they went on to become league champions once again.

Team-mate Wes Brown said of the iconic strike: "He scored a lot of goals but, for the situation and the time we were playing them, when they were changing the team a little bit, it was probably the best goal he ever scored.

"He gets the timing right, that’s the most important thing, and whether it hits him on the shin or foot, he directed it in the right direction."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden vs England, 2012)

Sweden were 3-2 up against England in stoppage time when Joe Hart came out of his box to head a long ball clear.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had already netted a hat-trick when he decided to try the most audacious, first-time overhead kick.

He connected with the ball perfectly and saw the ball sail over both the back-pedalling defenders and keeper Hart.

There have been plenty of highlights in Ibrahimovic’s long career but that was right up there, with England and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard calling it the "best goal I have ever seen".

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus vs Real Madrid, 2018)

Cristiano Ronaldo drew applause from the Juventus crowd as a Real Madrid player for this strike
Cristiano Ronaldo drew applause from the Juventus crowd as a Real Madrid player for this strike

There should be no surprise that a list of the most memorable overhead kicks includes one from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese legend has scored his fair share of spectacular goals over the years.

In 2018, he drew applause from an amazed Juventus crowd, albeit as a Real Madrid player.

Ronaldo propelled himself high into the air and sent his effort beyond Gianluigi Buffon in a Champions League quarter-final.

Perhaps the appreciation of the Turin crowd was part of the reason he chose Juve as his next club.

Trevor Sinclair (QPR vs Barnsley, 1997)

You may not have expected to see Trevor Sinclair’s name on the list, but he deserves his spot.

The ex-England ace is known for spells at QPR, West Ham and Manchester City — and it was in West London where he produced this moment of magic.

An FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Barnsley was the occasion as the R’s battled to a 3-2 win.

A ball whipped in from the right was slightly behind Sinclair, yet he took that as a challenge and immediately sprung into action.

He connected with his effort perfectly and it flew over the keeper and into the back of the net, even leading to some claps from the Tykes fans behind the goal.

Tags

Premier LeagueManchester UnitedSwedenReal MadridLaLigaChampions LeagueQueens Park RangersFA Cup
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