World Football - Zlatan: Goal of the year or best of all-time?

Europe's media have been drooling over Zlatan Ibrahimovic's bicycle kick fourth goal against England. Is it the best goal in the history of football? Judging by the reaction throughout Europe, and from the home of world champions Spain, it would not be absurd to argue the point. Here is what Europe's sports media are saying about the four-goal PSG forward today.

World Football - Zlatan: Goal of the year or best of all-time?

View photo

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Spain: 'A goal for eternity'

Spanish media are talking about Ibra’s great goal and wondering how it is possible not to be in the list for the best goal of 2012. The list closed yesterday but it is absurd (for the goal not to be included). - Eurosport Spain

Super Ibra. Superlative, unique, spectacular. Ibrahimovic completed one of the remaining games for the legend. Hart conceded four great goals: to the outside, a volley, from a free kick and a 'Chilean' at Friends Arena. - Marca

Great Ibrahimovic. PSG striker finishes English resistance. He scored four goals, one of them a spectacular 'Chilean'. - AS

Ibra scored a goal for eternity. - Sport

Germany: 'Goal of the Year'

While our players were snoring, Ibrahimovic scored like a giant. - BILD

Ibrahimovic scores with sensational bicycle kick! Messi embarrassed himself against Saudi Arabia, Italy failed in classic against France - and England had absolutely no chance against Ibrahimovic. - Die Welt

Four goals, hat-trick in 14 minutes - Ibrahimovic made a fool of England. What a brilliant way to inaugurate the new Friends Arena with an Ibra-Solo. - Express

Ibrahimovic scores the 'Goal of the Year'. Only four weeks after the 4-4 against Germany, Sweden came up with another brilliant performance. - Hamburger Abendblatt

Sweden: 'Is Ibra human?'

Is he from another planet? Has he ever been better? The answer to question number one is “he has to be”. The answer to number two is “no”.  – Anders Lindblad/Svenska Dagbladet

It was a bicicleta sent from football heaven. – Johan Esk/Dagens Nyheter

He is our best player and our obvious leader. He erases the boundaries between fantasy and reality. He is our present and our future packed into the same tattooed torso.  – Erik Niva/Aftonbladet

Give Zlatan an opportunity for a long shot and he’ll do a bicicleta. Give Zlatan a doubting opponent and he becomes a gladiator. Give Zlatan a vacuumwrapped movie theatre as scenery and he’ll raise the roof and let the stars in. – Simon Bank/Aftonbladet

Last night the first game on the new national arena was played. The Arena was named Friends Arena. It was a beautiful thought. Immediately after the game versus England it got a new name. From now on it is known as Zlatan arena. – Mats Olsson/Expressen

Russia: 'Bad boy but genius'

Russian-speaking fans don't have any collective opinion about Zlatan. There are enraptured cries in comments when he creates another masterpiece. But when he does something Zlatanish like an accident with Stephane Ruffier, they say that Ibrahimovic is the first villain in the modern era without any doubt. So if you want us to express the common thoughts about Zlatan in one phrase it would be something like 'genius bad boy'; he is able to make a miracle but he is a little bit ugly from the other hand. - Igor Zelenitsyn/Eurosport Russia

England: 'Only Messi and Ronaldo are better'

It was 'Zlatan Ibrahimovic 4 England 2' unreal 25-yard overhead kick in stoppage time ensured that the headlines would be all about the often-polarising captain rather than England's 100-cap skipper Steven Gerrard or the host of new faces introduced by Roy Hodgson - Liam Happe/British Eurosport

A great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals, Ibrahimovic’s first was an instinctive poacher’s finish, his second an emphatic half-volley and his third a 30-yard free-kick. The match-ball was his, victory was Sweden’s. England had not conceded a hat-trick since the marvellous Marco van Basten gave Tony Adams nightmares in 1988. It needed something special to go one step beyond Van Basten’s brilliance. It needed the mighty Zlatan. It was this fourth goal that will linger long in the memory, that will be saluted around the world. It was a reminder of the joy of football, of the breathtaking transferral of a ball into a net - Henry Winter/ Daily Telegraph

Something really annoyed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It may have been the unkind comparison to Andy Carroll made by England fans or he may have been offended by the sudden rush of so many unfamiliar substitutes. Whatever it was, he responded by completing his hat-trick and then scored a fourth - quite possibly one of the greatest goals scored by anyone, anywhere in the world - Matt Barlow/Daily Mail

England new-boy Wilfried Zaha said the other day he thought only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to be better than him. Well, he will have to consider relegating himself to fourth best in the world behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic too. Crystal Palace star Zaha had just come on when the Swedish skipper produced a stunning 35-yard overhead kick to rock keeper Joe Hart and kill off England. Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson described it as “the crowning glory”. It was a harsh lesson for all of England’s debutants - Shaun Custis/The Sun

Has there been a better performance from an opposition striker in an England fixture? Possibly, yet Ibrahimovic has put himself in the record books with this demonstration of spectacular finishing. Sweden's captain, talisman and inspiration seemed determined to do everything he could to upstage everyone on the night of Steven Gerrard's 100th cap and he finished a remarkable performance with all four Sweden goals - Daniel Taylor/Guardian

Turkey: 'He is the Darth Vader who saves the day'

Regardless what team they support, Turkish footballers have respect Zlatan. Maybe he is not in the spotlight as Messi or Ronaldo, but when he is there, he is the wizard, he shocks the world. Regardless of their performance Turkish supporters love this kind of maniac players (Pascal Nouma is a very good example). He deserves his ego (like Roger Federer).In conclusion I can say that majority of Turkish supporters love Ibra. Messi may be the best, and Cristiano Ronaldo may be Messi's arch rival but you never underestimate the power of Zlatan. He is the super-hero who shows himself in the twist of the movie and the audience will be delighted. If he is the bad guy, he is Darth Vader, in the end he saves the galaxy - Onur Yunus Akmeric/Eurosport Turkey

View comments (84)