Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 May 2016

Steven Gerrard: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's overhead kick best goal I have seen

By Sam Wallace at The Friends Arena in Stockholm

Published 15/11/2012

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden celebrates scoring his 4th goal during the international friendly match between Sweden and England
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden celebrates scoring his 4th goal during the international friendly match between Sweden and England

Steven Gerrard said last night that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's fourth goal in Sweden's 4-2 win over England, an overhead kick from outside the area, was the best goal he had ever witnessed at a stadium.

Having won his 100th cap for England, Gerrard compared the Sweden striker's goal to the overhead kick scored by Wayne Rooney for Manchester United against Manchester City in February last year. "It is the best goal I have seen live," Gerrard said. "I think the best goal I have seen before that was Wayne Rooney's.

"Everyone knows how special that was but this one tonight – an overhead kick from 25 yards when the ball is six feet in the air – only certain players can do that. And he is a special player

"I have mixed emotions. Obviously I am very proud for myself, getting to 100 [caps] and really pleased with the lads for large parts of the game. I thought we controlled the game and did not look like losing it but sometimes you have to hold your hands up to an individual special performance.

"I congratulated him after that. He said some nice things about me before the game which was really nice and if I could return the compliment – that was one of the best individual performances I have seen. He is not everyone's cup of tea but he is certainly mine."

Before last night Ibrahimovic had scored four times against English opposition in 1,536 minutes. His four goals came in the space of 71 minutes. Roy Hodgson said that his six second-half substitutions contributed to England throwing away a 2-1 lead in the last 12 minutes. "We kept them at bay, asked them questions and our passing and movement were good. But I made further changes in the last 15 minutes and unfortunately that's when Zlatan decided to step into the picture and win the game for them. The fourth goal was the crowning glory, a fantastic goal."

Ibrahimovic said that the first goal of the four meant the most to him because it was the first scored at the new Friends Arena. "The first goal I liked more because it was an historic goal."

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