There are few things more satisfying in football than a finely executed bicycle kick.
It’s a thing of beauty, rarely seen on the pitch and rarely pulled off with a aplomb. But when someone runs the risk of falling arse over tit and comes out the other side with a great goal to their name, it’s a moment worth celebrating.
You’ll definitely recall some of these bicycle kicks. Others, less so. There’s no place for Wayne Rooney’s goal against Manchester City either, because we all know he shinned it. That’s not sour grapes. He did. Anyway, enjoy!
Dani Osvaldo (ROMA vs Catania)
Osvaldo is best known to Premier League fans for getting into a fight with his Southampton teammate Jose Fonte during training. He’s since retired from football to focus on his new career as a musician but it’s worth remembering that he used to be a pretty decent striker too.
Jurgen Klinsmann (STUTTGART vs Bayern Munich)
Klinsmann announced himself as one to watch with this superbly taken bicycle kick back in the 1987-88 Bundesliga season. He would finish the campaign as the league’s top scorer and headed to Inter Milan a year later, where more silverware and, eventually, a World Cup win followed.
Eidur Gudjohnsen (CHELSEA vs Leeds United)
Before Chelsea had to rely on Roman Abramovich’s petrodollars for success on the pitch, the Blues turned to the likes of Gudjohnseen for inspiration. He duly delivered with this fine goal, albeit against a pretty duff Leed United team managed by Peter Reid.
Rivaldo (BARCELONA vs Valencia)
The Brazilian wonder earns his place on this list thanks, in part, to the importance of his bicycle kick, which ensured another season of Champions League football at the Nou Camp. Barca might not be the team they are today without this goal, which helped them finish fourth ahead of Valencia.
Maya Yoshida (VVV VENLO vs PSV Eindhoven)
Long before Yoshida emerged as a solid defender in an otherwise hapless Southampton backline, he was busy scoring absolute bangers for Eredivisie minnows against one of the Dutch league’s big boys. The speed of this is what makes it so impressive.
Philippe Mexes (AC MILAN vs Anderlecht)
Mexes is probably best remembered for being a bit of a thug. However that doesn’t tell the whole story. He was actually a bit of a thug who also happened to be pretty athletic and acrobatic in and around the penalty area when he wanted to be.
Tim Cahill (AUSTRALIA vs China)
Super Timmy Cahill will probably go down in history as the greatest Australian soccer star of all time and with good reason. He’s made a habit of not only scoring on the big occasion but scoring spectacularly, as this fine effort in a crucial Asian cup match demonstrates.
Xherdan Shaqiri (SWITZERLAND vs Poland)
He may blow hot and cold for Stoke City in the Premier League, but Shaqiri is still the main man for Switzerland. This fine strike was worthy of winning any match, especially a second round Euro 2016 encounter. Unfortunately it didn’t. Switzerland went out on penalties.
Antoine Griezmann (REAL SOCIEDAD vs Lyon)
Griezmann first caught the eye of the watching world with this fine strike in Real Sociedad’s shock Champions League qualification playoff win over French mainstays Lyon. It was the first of many more bicycle kick goals to come for Atletico Madrid and Les Bleus alike.
Trevor Sinclair (QUEENS PARK RANGERS vs Barnsley)
This goal in the FA Cup beat out David Beckham’s memorable halfway line goal for Manchester United against Wimbledon to earn goal of the season and with good reason – it’s an absolute belter and the first of many fine strikes racked up by the England international.
Marco Van Basten (AJAX vs FC Den Bosch)
Marco Van Basten’s best remembered goal might be that volley for Holland against the Soviet Union at Euro ’88 but this superbly accurate overhead strike from the Eredivisie often gets overlooked, which is a shame because it’s both spectacular and perfectly placed.
Ronaldinho (BARCELONA vs Villarreal)
Ronaldinho was at the height of his powers when he unleashed this one-of-a-kind bicycle kick for Barca against the Yellow Submarine. There’s not be a goal like it before or since while Ronaldinho has never quite reach the same dizzying heights of football greatness again either.
Radamel Falcao (ATLETICO MADRID vs America De Cali)
Long before he underwhelmed with both Manchester United and later Chelsea, Falcao was arguably the best out-and-out striker in Europe with this goal in a friendly for Atleti providing the perfect showcase of a forward brimming with confidence.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWEDEN vs England)
Much of the hype surrounding Zlatan dates back to this spectacular effort for Sweden in a friendly against England at Wembley. It came as part of a virtuoso performance that put to bed any suggestion that the big man wasn’t world class. Joe Hart did make it easy for him though. Well, maybe not easy.
Mauro Bressan (FIORENTINA vs Barcelona)
Bressan enjoyed a fairly nomadic career in his native Italy and, later, Switzerland, spending time on the books of no fewer than 13 clubs. But it was one two-year period, in particular, with Fiorentina that would prove the making of Bressan, who produced arguably the greatest overhead kick of all-time against Barcelona.
He went on to win the Coppa Italia with Fiorentina in 2001 but, in more recent years, has been in trouble with the law. Back in 2012, he was one of 12 notable football figures arrested in connection to a match-fixing scandal. Still, he’ll always have this goal.