Best goal so far

June 20, 2012 • 4:20 am

Matthew Cobb sent me this goal, from last night’s match between Sweden and France in the European championship (Sweden 2-0), labelling it as “the best goal so far.” Here Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores with a terrific bicycle kick.

Despite that, Sweden is out of the championship.  Matthew’s terse report on the championship:

 Sweden were chucked out though, despite stuffing France (who were woeful and will be thumped by Spain in the 1/4s)

And, in response to a reader’s note below, I’ve found Danny Welbeck’s winning backheel goal in minute 78 of the England vs Sweden match (3-2).

25 thoughts on “Best goal so far

  1. I watched the Sweden v France game as I knew it would not have me shouting at the TV! It was a terrific goal, but Sweden were rubbish at defending in the earlier games which is why they lost out, being particularly poor against the Ukraine, & France clearly came out last night with a side that thought it would be a stroll in the park. The giant of the Swedish team is Mellberg as far as I am concerned, & I wanted Sweden to qualify.

    However, how can you be poorer if you win? The whole point of the game is to score more goals than the opposition. As was said by Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times, people who say England need to keep the ball have it wrong. England & the ball have a mutual distrust!

  2. “How can you be poorer if you win?”

    Double deflection by the defence, butterfingered goalkeeping, your marker pops out for a sandwich, you have a nod in into an empty goalmouth from a range of less than a metre in a game where the opponents have 14% more possession and nearly twice as many shots (one of which was actually a goal, not awarded)… It can happen

    Still, Rooney started rusty and finished much sharper, so maybe Woy took a necessary wisk with an eye to the final stages.

      1. Not many people know this, but Danny Welbeck’s Dad is a bomb disposal expert and his name is Stan!

  3. I still think Jakub Blaszczykowski’s goal for Poland against Russia is the best of the tournament. Look at it in its entirety – the run under close coverage and the incredibly powerful strike with his weaker (left) foot. It is much more than a single volley.

  4. Zlatan is one of those frustrating types. He has unbounded ability, but rarely does he shine. His arrogance – despite earlier flirtations with abandoning it – appears to have returned to astronomical levels.

    That said, goals like this are why he makes the team.

    Being a Brit that has lived in Sweden, I was somewhat conflicted with the England game. I enjoyed the second half immensely, and was awestruck by Welbeck’s goal. You gotta say that Sweden were unlucky not to salvage a point though.

  5. “Sweden is out of the championship.”

    Strange quirk of US English language there. In Britain we’d always say “Sweden are out of the championship.”

    I don’t know why (pedantry, clearly) but it always catches my eye.

    I agree with the person who’s vote goes to the Poland goal. Great build up, great through ball, great first touch, great strike.

    1. Both cracking goals; let’s hope we see more.

      Nick – as you noticed, in British English (and as inherited by Australia, NZ, South Africa, most of the commonwealth but *not* Canada), collective nouns (countries, groups of peopole, companies, etc) are *always* plural.

      In US and Canadian English, they are *almost always* singular, but there is a grey area that sometimes leads to strange grammatical gymnastics:

      “IBM is working on a new microprocessor. They plan to release it in August.”

      where IBM is singular, then plural. Or:

      “Radiohead is a great band. I love their music.”

      (same switch)

      The British English way is actually more informative, because it carries with it more information – it notifies the listener that the subject is a collection or group. In British English, you can make a distinction between

      “Spain is great” (the country, Spain, with all its mountains and Paella and beaches and … )


      “Spain are great” (in this context, the football team)

      Language rules!

    1. Hopefully that mistake will finally get things moving on the whole goal-line technology thing.
      I can’t believe how people think that the enjoyment of debating mistakes is more important than that the results of the game reflect what actually happened on the field.

        1. Ha, it was over the line, but was also offside. So you know, the first pathetic decision by the linesman, was cancelled out moments later by the second pathetic decision. Justice done I think.

          But I would agree goal line technology needed. Funny how that raging Anglophobe Sepp Blatter said in 2010, when England had their goal ruled out against Germany, something along the lines of “these things happen…” and when England benefit from it, he’s gagging to get the technology in ASAP. Wouldn’t surprise me if he backdated it, so Ukraine’s goal stands. Platini’s no better either.

          1. At least Blatter supposedly changed his mind after the England vs Germany game and now supports the technology. Platini on the other hand was convinced the added goal referees would be sufficient. It’s going to be interesting to see whether or not he’ll move on that point now.
            Also, since I’m German, I’ll have to say I’m sorry for that goal the English team didn’t get in 2010, but we did have to get even for that Wembley affair eventually.. 😉
            I hope that there won’t be any similarly unfair calls if we should meet in this year’s semi-final, so we’ll stay even, and that the next time we meet there’ll be technology in place to make sure a goal is a goal.

            1. I have to say, if we end up meeting Deutschland in the semis, I think we don’t have a chance. You have too many good players. That lampard goal was about a metre over the line though! I could see that without any replays!

          2. Yes, offside – but that’s also easily sorted by instant replay technology, with an official checking the replay and informing the ref via headphone. Same with yellow v red card decisions. There’s so much more cash in soccer compred to Rugby and Cricket – and wrong decisions can cos clubs so much more. Daft.

  6. Ibrahimovic has a reputation for scoring ‘good’ goals like that. Check out the one he scored in Euro 2008 – watch?v=qmrIhrW-eow

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