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What is the best bicycle kick in football?

That might be an unusual scene of an upside-down finish with the boot over the head, or the player seemingly hovering in the air for an unbelievable amount of time, or just the perfect moment and sweet connection that made the bicycle kick – slamming the ball into the net one of the most stunning moves in football. Cristiano Ronaldo conjured such a moment with his extraordinary effort in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday. So what is the best bicycle kick in football? Let’s consider it through the following article with bestsoccertips!

Top 10 Best Bicycle Kicks in Football History

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Champions League Quarter-final First Leg: Juventus 0 Real Madrid 3 – 4/4/2018

With his 119th goal in his Champions League career, Cristiano Ronaldo not only enriched his trophy cabinet but also left a remarkable mark. In the recent match, he once again asserted himself as one of the greatest players of all time in this competition. With this final goal, he added another highlight to his illustrious career.

What is the best bicycle kick in football: Cristiano Ronaldo
What is the best bicycle kick in football: Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s impressive performance is not only the result of concentration and individual technique but also reflects perfect teamwork. His acrobatic move and precise shot, following a superb cross from Dani Carvajal, left the Juventus defenders bewildered. Under the leadership of coach Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid not only won on the field but also impressed fans with top-class plays.

2. Philippe Mexes

  • Champions League Group Stage: Anderlecht 1 AC Milan 3 – 21/11/2012

Bicycle kicks are not only for attackers, as French defender Philippe Mexes proved in this Champions League match. The AC Milan player executed a direct free-kick on the edge of the Anderlecht penalty area in a backward-facing position towards the goal, and executed a swirling shot beyond Silvio Proto.

Who is the best bicycle kick in football: Philippe Mexes
Who is the best bicycle kick in football: Philippe Mexes

Mexes said: “I have to admit it was a bit lucky. For a defender to score such a goal is unusual, and I have never scored a goal like that before. You only score such a goal once in your career. My team – my friends asked me if I was trying to cross and misunderstood”.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • International Friendly: Sweden 4 England 2 – 15/11/2012

He made history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick against the England national team since Marco van Basten in 1988. The momentous occasion occurred when Joe Hart, the England goalkeeper, decided to venture out of his area to head away a long ball. In that instant, Zlatan Ibrahimovic spotted an opportunity and let the goalkeeper clear the ball before stalking it like a lion, before contorting his 1.95-meter frame mid-air to execute a daring bicycle kick from 35 meters out.

Top 10 best bicycle kick in football history: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Top 10 best bicycle kick in football history: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Emphasizing determination and extraordinary skill, Ronaldo’s performance was not just a significant milestone but also a strong statement of his class. However, it’s not surprising to see him always craving for more. Commenting on Ronaldo’s effort in that match, he said: “It was a beautiful goal, but he should try it from 40 meters away.” It’s an expression of relentless fighting spirit and the endless hunger of a champion.

4. Wayne Rooney

  • Premier League: Manchester United 2 Manchester City 1 – 12/02/2011

There might be a hint of bias when Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson declared: “I have never seen a goal like that in my life.” However, it cannot be denied that Wayne Rooney’s goal, after a pass from Luis Nani, was truly spectacular and carried special significance.

Best bicycle kick in football: Wayne Rooney
Best bicycle kick in football: Wayne Rooney

Matches against city rivals Manchester City are always special and tense. In a decisive moment, Wayne Rooney demonstrated his determination and superb technical ability. He maneuvered between two Manchester City defenders, Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards, the pillars of Man City, to score the winning goal for his team. This goal not only brought joy to Manchester United fans but also affirmed the strength and relentless fighting spirit of the team.

5. Dimitar Berbatov

  • Premier League: Manchester United 3 Liverpool 2 – 19/09/2010

The Red Devils truly showed their determination to punish their fiercest opponents with the most spectacular goals of the 2010-2011 season. Once again, an accurate pass from the right flank by Nani created the opportunity and found Dimitar Berbatov, who turned it into reality.

Best bicycle kicks in soccer: Dimitar Berbatov
Best bicycle kicks in soccer: Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov, like a ballet artist on the pitch, displayed his composure and finesse. He controlled the ball impressively with his thigh before executing a daring bicycle kick. The ball flew past Pepe Reina, the goalkeeper of Liverpool, and hit the crossbar before going into the net, sealing the victory for Manchester United. This goal was not just a scoring feat but also a powerful statement of Berbatov’s strength and talent as well as the Red Devils’ might.

6. Trevor Sinclair

  • FA Cup 4th Round: Queens Park Rangers 3 Barnsley 2 – 25/01/1997

This truly stands out as one of the most memorable goals and has etched itself into the memory of football fans of the X generation when discussing beautiful bicycle kicks. Considered and voted as the “Goal of the Season Match” for the 1996-97 season, it elevated Trevor Sinclair’s reputation as one of the greatest volley specialists in football history.

What is the best bicycle kick in football: Trevor Sinclair
What is the best bicycle kick in football: Trevor Sinclair

In a situation that initially seemed harmless after the first cross from David Barnsley, Trevor Sinclair produced a moment of brilliance. He unleashed a shot with his back towards the goal, with astonishing accuracy and power, from just outside the penalty area. It was not just a goal but also a piece of art on the field, showcasing Trevor Sinclair’s technique and daring spirit, creating an unforgettable picture in the football world.

7. Marcelo Balboa

  • World Cup Group Stage: USA 2 Colombia 1 – June 22, 1994

About 10 minutes before the end of the game, the USA was leading 2-0 against the Colombia national team. In a corner kick situation, Colombian defender Marcelo Balboa executed a daring bicycle kick from a pass by his teammate. Although the shot went wide of the left post, the home team maintained their advantage and secured a 2-1 victory, despite Colombia scoring a late goal.

Who is the best bicycle kick in football: Marcelo Balboa
Who is the best bicycle kick in football: Marcelo Balboa

The fairy-tale ending for Marcelo Balboa didn’t just stem from his performance in international matches but also from his success domestically. He eventually executed a bicycle kick for the Colorado Rapids against the Columbus Crew, marking a significant turning point in his career. This goal not only earned him the title of “Goal of the Year 2000” but also honored Balboa’s talent and perseverance throughout his career.

8. V. Sundram Moorthy

  • FAM Division II Championship: Singapore 8 Brunei 0 – September 28, 1993

It seemed like his national team was having trouble scoring against the Lions, a team known for their solid defensive play. However, in the past, V. Sundram Moorthy made bicycle kicks look sensual to the people of Singapore.

Top 10 best bicycle kick in football history: V. Sundram Moorthy
Top 10 best bicycle kick in football history: V. Sundram Moorthy

In one match, Sundram Moorthy produced an impressive play. Anticipating a cross from the right flank by Nazri Nasir, he executed a remarkable bicycle kick. In mid-air, Sundram Moorthy spun his body around an imaginary axis and put the ball past Brunei goalkeeper Ibrahim Bakar, increasing the score to 8-0. This goal was not just a score but also a statement of Sundram Moorthy’s talent and technique, as well as the strength of the Singapore national team.

9. Klaus Fischer

  • World Cup Semi-final: West Germany 3 France 3, West Germany won 5-4 on penalties – July 8, 1982

The former West German forward could easily fill this list with gems for both club and country. His stunning goal for Schalke against Karlsruher in 1975 and the fantastic effort for Die Mannschaft against Switzerland two years later were voted by German TV viewers as the Goal of the Year (and subsequently the Decade and Century).

Best bicycle kick in football: Klaus Fischer
Best bicycle kick in football: Klaus Fischer

In 1978, he did it again against the Soviet Union, but the goal was disallowed for a foul. Klaus then recreated the bicycle kick at the grandest stage when he scored the equalizer in the 108th minute of the thrilling 3-3 extra-time draw against France in the semifinals before West Germany triumphed on penalties.

10. Pele

  • Prison Break to Victory: Allied Prisoners of War 4 German Guards 4 – 1981

This goal, though just a piece of entertainment, was scored by a football legend. Pele may have executed numerous bicycle kicks in his career, but none were captured with the grandeur and allure as in this scene. It created a magnificent expression of Pele’s talent and power, an image that football fans will forever cherish.

What is the best bicycle kick in football: Pele
What is the best bicycle kick in football: Pele

While this kick was only part of a movie, it was a special thrill for viewers, witnessing one of the greatest footballers of all time showcase his skills in a pinnacle moment. Pele left an indelible mark in football history, and this goal is a small part of the great legacy he created.


The bicycle kick, with its blend of athleticism and finesse, stands as a symbol of football’s artistry and flair. From Marcelo Balboa’s audacious attempt in the World Cup to Pele’s majestic execution, each instance of this acrobatic maneuver is etched into the annals of football history. These moments not only showcase the extraordinary skill and creativity of the players but also embody the sheer joy and excitement that the sport brings to fans worldwide. Whether it’s a crucial goal in a high-stakes match or a moment of pure entertainment, the bicycle kick captures the essence of football’s beauty and captivates audiences with its breathtaking spectacle.

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