“Goal of the Century” exclaimed England’s Daily Telegraph. “DID YOU SEE THAT?” came the headline from Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter. “From now on it’s called Zlatan arenda,” wrote Expressen sports columnist Mats Olsson. By now, you’ve probably seen Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stunning goal against England on Wednesday (if not, you can view it here). One day later, newspapers across the globe are debating whether Ibra’s bicycle kick lob from 30 yards is the greatest goal of all time, or merely just the greatest goal of the year.
According to the New York Daily News, Ibra’s wonder-strike deserves a place alongside some very famous goals, including Diego Maradona’s solo run against England in 1986, Marco van Basten’s volley in the 1988 European Championship final, and Carlos Alberto’s team goal for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup final. While the sheer quality of Zlatan’s strike is undisputed, it must be said that a friendly against England hardly stacks up to those goals in terms of significance.
Unfortunately, Ibra’s goal came a few hours after FIFA had already determined its list of the 10 best goals of 2012, featuring great goals from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo. FIFA said Thursday it was too late to add it to the list.