SK Retro: Reliving Zlatan Ibrahimovic's crazy bicycle kick against England
It has been four years since the day Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored that crazy bicycle kick against England in a World Cup qualifier.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived on the English shores not more than 5 months ago but as with any great footballer his reputation preceded him, more so if you are Zlatan and even more if you have scored one of the greatest goals against their national team.
It was on 14th November, 2012, Sweden and England were scheduled to take on each other in a 2014 World Cup qualifier – to mark the opening of Sweden’s new 50,000 seater Friends Arena. Six English players earned their first cap for the country while Steven Gerrard earned his 100th but when it is Zlatan’s time, no one else is allowed to steal the show.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for his side in the 20th minute, poking the ball past Joe Hart before Danny Welbeck equalised for the Three Lions in the 35th minute. England then took the lead through debutant Steven Caulker in the 38th minute and held on to their lead until half-time.
However, the Manchester United inspired his side to a historic comeback finding the back of the net from inside the penalty box after being put through by Anders Svensson to bring the scores level in the 77th minute of the game. The 35-year-old then scored from a free-kick – roughly 30 yards out from goal – to complete his hat-trick. He got the better of Hart with a low drive which caught the Manchester City man completely off guard.
The best was yet to come, though. In the 91st minute, a clearance from Sweden landed awkwardly in front of Hart – who by virtue of being outside his box – had to clear it with his head. Zlatan chased the clearance and unleashed a bicycle kick on the volley again some 30 yards from the goal which nestled in the back of the goal. Sublime, outrageous, crazy, out of the world, choose any word you may but you will still not be doing justice to the sheer audacity of attempting something so extraordinary.
Zlatan had just scored his fourth goal of the night and this one was easily the best of the lot. The goal went on to win the 2013 FIFA Ferenc Puskas Award for Goal of the Year and can easily challenge any of the other great goals for the Goal of the Decade or something even better.
Here is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s bicycle kick:
Here is the complete highlights of the game:
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