Everybody loves a cheeky backheel and the finest examples stay long in the memory. There was Zola’s magical flick against Norwich in 2002 and Kanu’s delightful finish against Middlesboro in 1999. Now Daniel Sturridge’s gem of a backheel against Sunderland on Saturday has joined these classics.
There are a surprising variety of ways to score a backheel as this top 10 shows, none more unique than Laurent Robert’s effort for Newcastle, but despite this variety, all the goals are united by a deftness of touch and speed of thought.
While 9 times out of 10 a player is likely to get a rollicking from his manager for “Mickey Mouse football”, the moments when it comes off are priceless.
Now, the general standard of backheeled goals is pretty darn high so selecting a top ten is inevitably going result in a few classics going unheralded. The most notable absentees are Lee Sharpe’s flick against Barcelona in 1995 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s finish against Italy in Euro 2004. But hopefully the final 10 will blow your socks off. Enjoy.
10. Thierry Henry (Arsenal Vs Charlton)
Standing with his back to goal and a man up his backside, Henry stabs it with the heel straight into the bottom corner. As with most of these efforts the keeper has absolutely no chance.
9. Gianfranco Zola (Chelsea vs Norwich)
One of the finest imports of continental flair, Zola showed everyone what the phrase really meant with this delightful finish at the near post. Also some classic congratulatory player bum slapping in the video too.
8. Kanu (Arsenal Vs Middlesboro)
Nwankwo Kanu has always had good feet for a big man, never better than this stunning finish against Boro. This is the most classic type of backheeled goal which in no way detracts from how difficult it is to get right.
7. Coridon (PSG Vs Porto)
In at number 7 because it’s slightly untidy, this acrobatic effort really is perfectly executed playground stuff that shouldn’t really be attempted in the Champions League, still I’m sure he was glad he went for it.