Top 10 Best Bicycle Kicks In Football History

Best bicycle kicks of all time Wayne Rooney vs. Manchester City (2011)
(Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The are few things in football that thrill fans, like a perfectly executed bicycle kick. The sight of seeing a player kicking an aerial ball backward with his back facing the goal is absolutely incredible.

The bicycle kick is known by various others names. Some of these are Scissors kick, Overhead kick, or Acrobatic.

In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 best bicycle kicks in football history.

1. Wayne Rooney vs. Manchester City (2011)

Arguably the most iconic goal in Premier League history, Wayne Rooney’s goal against Man City in 2011 is also the greatest goal ever scored in the Manchester Derby.

With few minutes remaining to the end of the match, a cross was floated into the Man City box.

With his eyes fixed on the ball, Rooney inexplicably contorted his body in mid-air to lash a screamer into the top right corner of Joe Hart’s net!

What makes the goal even more impressive is that Nani’s cross into the box was deflected on its way in — giving Rooney little time to think.

But he somehow positioned his body to execute the bicycle kick.

Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson, claimed afterwards: “I have never seen a goal like that in my life!”

To date, that goal by Wayne Rooney is regarded as one of the best bicycle kicks in football history.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs England (2012)


An international friendly match between England and Sweden was tied at 2-2 when Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to take matters into his hands.

Having scored Sweden’s two goals, Zlatan put his side up 3-2 with a 30-yard free-kick to complete a hat trick.

Thus, he became the first player to score a hat-trick against England since Marco van Basten in 1988, but he wasn’t done.

The fourth goal sent the stadium into raptures.

England goalkeeper, Joe Hart, decided to race off his line to head away a long ball. In one of the most sensational goals of all time, Ibrahimovic scored a bicycle kick from more than 30 yards out!

3. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Juventus (2018)


Cristiano Ronaldo has scored some stunning goals in his career, but arguably the best was the bicycle kick he netted against Juventus for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 2018.

The goal was so good that UEFA awarded it as the Goal of the Season.

Dani Carvajal crossed the ball into the Juve area, but it was not only behind Ronaldo but also above his head.

Sensationally, the Portuguese flipped himself acrobatically to meet the ball and sent a peach of a strike into the net!

The Juventus defenders and goalkeeper (Gianluigi Buffon!) could only watch in wonder, while Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, grabbed his head in astonishment.

The Allianz Stadium was stunned, and both sets of fans applauded.

Furthermore, the home fans got to their feet to give Ronaldo a standing ovation. No surprise, then, that he joined Juventus at the end of the season.

4. Gareth Bale vs. Liverpool (2018)

The 2018 UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool was tied 1-1 at half-time. Madrid manager, Zidane, decided to bring on Gareth Bale.

Perhaps motivated for being benched in such an important game and to prove the stuff he’s made of, the Welshman turned the game on its head with two quick goals.

The first was a shot from distance that was fumbled by the Liverpool goalkeeper, Loris Karius.

But the second was out of this world. A bicycle kick!

The ball was launched high towards Bale, then he sailed into the air and waved his left foot powerfully at the ball to connect with a stunning strike past the despairing dive of Karius.

5. Oscarine Masaluke vs Orlando Pirates (2016)


A match between South African clubs, Baroka and Orlando Pirates, was heading towards a draw in 2016. Then Baroka earned a last-minute corner kick.

Their goalkeeper, Oscarine Masaluke, came forward to support the attack, and he scored one of the most memorable goals ever with a stunning bicycle kick!

His celebration afterward was equally unforgettable.

The strike was so outstanding that it earned the shot-stopper a nomination for the Puskas award in 2017.

The Puskas award is one of the top 10 awards in football.

6. Peter Crouch vs Galatasaray (2006)


At 6 ft 7, Peter Crouch is one of the tallest footballers to have ever played the round-leather game.

He is famous for being able to head balls that most players can only watch sail over their heads.

The Englishman showed that he can more than that when he scored one of the best goals in UEFA Champions League history in a group-stage match against Galatasaray in 2006.

It was a perfectly executed flying bicycle kick that gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance!

Peter Crouch, who loved wearing the number 15 jersey, said it was one of his best ever goals.

7. Andy Caroll vs. Crystal Palace (2017)


Andy Caroll scored an amazing bicycle kick for West Ham United in a Premier League home win over Crystal Palace in 2017.

It was a high-end bicycle kick. Caroll watched the ball come all the way towards him and fell backwards to connect with it in perfect fashion.

The accuracy and perfection of his strike was top-notch.

Such a huge player choosing to throw himself backwards and lash the ball into the net is extraordinary.

8. Rivaldo vs Valencia (2001)

Barcelona were on the verge of missing out on Champions League qualification in the 2001 season and came up against league leaders Valencia.

Rafael Benitez’s Valencia side were a tough side to beat, but Rivaldo inspired Barca to a memorable win — scoring a hat-trick.

Rivaldo’s hat-trick ranks as one of the best hat tricks of all-time.

The Brazilian saved the best for last, though. With just two minutes left in regular time, he buried away Valencia with an unbelievable bicycle kick to make it 3-2.

Moreso, the goal secured Barcelona’s place in the Champions League the following season.

9. Philippe Mexes vs Anderlecht (2012)


AC Milan defender, Philippe Mexes, was known for his defensive qualities and doesn’t score goals. But his first goal for the club was memorable.

It came in a Champions League game against Anderlecht in 2012.

Mexes chested a free kick on the edge of the Anderlecht box with his back to goal and lashed a looping bicycle kick beyond the goalkeeper!

10. Mario Mandzukic vs. Real Madrid (2017)

Trailing by a goal, Juventus needed something special in the 2017 Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Croatian striker, Mario Mandzukic, came to the rescue with one of the greatest Champions League final goals of all time to make it 1-1!

But unfortunately, Juventus eventually lost the game as Madrid scored thrice in the second half to win 4-1.

Notable Mentions:

  • Ronaldhino vs Villareal (2006)
  • Christian Benteke vs. Manchester United (2015)
  • Marco van Basten vs. FC Den Bosch (1986)
  • Trevor Sinclair vs. Barnsley (1997)
  • Robert Lewandoski vs. Dynamo Kiev (2021).


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