Premier League football may be a few weeks off a return to the screens, but with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool set to take in friendly fixtures on US and Australian tours over the next few days, fans’ enthusiasm may be sated by a flash of brilliance.
Don’t believe us? Check out the unsanctioned efforts below:
5) Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea vs Wycombe Wanderers)
The summer of 2011 was an exciting time for Chelsea. New manager Andre Villas-Boas had swept into the club, promising to bring through the ranks a miasma of young, local talent, in the process guiding them all wisely with his renowned man-management skills. Great days indeed. One high point for Chelsea under AVB was a 3-0 win at Wycombe in pre-season (lean times indeed), where Yossi Benayoun scored this extraordinary goal, and Fernando Torres even netted. Yes really kids. It did happen.
4) Thierry Henry (Arsenal vs SC Weiz)
Not much is known about Austrian amateur outfit SC Weiz (useless old Wikipedia), but they were the recipients of perhaps Thierry Henry’s finest goal in an Arsenal shirt, a bold statement considering some of the stiff competition. July 2005 saw the Frenchman score twice in a 5-0 pre-season caning of Weiz, in a game also notable for a 17-year-old Alex Song debuting for Arsenal on trial.
3) Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid vs Tokyo Verdy)
August 2004, and Zizou bamboozles the Tokyo Verdy backline using just two sensational touches. One of those goals that can be watched again and again. And again. Go on then, once more.
2) Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid vs America de Cali)
If Jose Mourinho can work his magic on the Colombian striker, the Premier League will see spectacular goal-scoring of the type it hasn’t peaked at since ooh, Jeremy Goss retired. Exhibit A – this Falcao bullet in a 2012 friendly. Diego’s corner, Falcao’s finish. Woof. But can he do it on a wet, Wednesday night in Stoke.
1) Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden vs England)
No greatest goal collection, let alone a collection of great goals scored in friendlies, would be complete without the daddy of them all.
The man who never does it against English clubs showed that he can do it against the England national side. From 35 yards. With a bicycle kick. It was Ibra’s 4th of the night, the first time England had conceded three goals or more from a single player since Marco van Basten, another volleyer of renown, banged in a Euro ’88 hat-trick.
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