An overhead kick better than Rooney's?

An overhead kick better than Rooney's?
By Eurosport

17/08/2011 at 20:29Updated 18/08/2011 at 00:39

Wayne Rooney's bicycle kick winner for Manchester United against Manchester City last season was probably his finest goal ever, and was voted goal of the season in the Premier League last season.

But a player in the Swiss top flight has scored a stunning strike that is arguably even better.

    However the context of Rooney's goal was very different to that of Argentine star David Abraham's effort for FC Basel against Zurich.

    That left us wondering which goal is better: Rooney's against Manchester United's fierce rivals, or the unlikely sight of centre-back Abraham performing a feat that would leave the best strikers in the world green with envy?

    Read our analysis, watch both goals - Rooney's in the box on the right, Abraham's down below - then have your say in the comments box below.

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    Quality of strike

    There is no doubt that Abraham catches the ball beautifully. It is as sweet a volley as you'll ever see, something that is almost never seen with overhead kicks. The ball flies like a rocket into the back of the net, giving goalkeeper Johnny Leoni no chance of making a save.

    Rooney's ball was not hit with anything like the same pace, yet it was still caught well. And while it's not an amazingly hard shot, the accuracy gave Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart no chance of getting a hand to it, despite coming from 12 yards.


    There are not many 6'2" centre-backs in world football who possess great acrobatic prowess, but Abraham is clearly one of them. The 25-year old had a decent amount of time to see the ball, but still leapt superbly to execute the overhead kick from six yards - and he was almost completely inverted as his foot made contact with the ball.

    Nani's deflected cross came from more than 20 yards out from goal, which would have given Rooney plenty of time to see the ball. However, the striker was sprinting towards goal expecting a cross into the six-yard box and therefore had to change body position and turn away from goal in order to perform his acrobatics.

    Difficulty of angle and distance

    Abraham's job was made far easier as he was just a few yards out and directly in front of goal. Provided that he connected with the ball well enough, there was a fair chance that he would hit the target.

    Rooney was much further out, however, and had more of an angle to contend with. The England striker was still fairly central to the goal, but his body shape and the distance from the target made the chance difficult - even if there were fewer defenders that he needed to weave the ball through.


    Abraham's strike gave hosts FC Basel the lead on the half-hour mark, and his wondergoal looked like being the winner until three minutes from time. Zurich staged an astonishing late fightback to render his heroics meaningless, however, with Mathieu Beda scoring an equaliser before substitute Amine Chermiti added an injury-time winner.

    Rooney's goal came at the end of a top-of-the-table clash with United's arch-rivals. It looked to be petering out into a draw after David Silva's deflected strike cancelled out Nani's opener; but with 12 minutes to go Rooney put the Champions in front with his sublime finish to secure a key win. United never looked like losing the title after the match, and they went on to finish with nine points more than City.