Six best backheel goals ever after Alessia Russo’s worldie for England Lionesses
Backheel goals combine both blind faith and skill – which is why they are so hard to pull off correctly.
With the back to goal and no chance to give the goalkeeper ‘the eyes’, it’s pure trickery. Alessia Russo stunned viewers last night with a cheeky backheel goal that helped England women’s side get to the final of Euro 2022. And the cheeky manoeuvre has reminded us about the stupendous backheel goals that we have witnessed over the years.
From major international games to Premier League matches, Daily Star Sport looks at the best-ever backheels to be executed in the sport.
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Wayne Rooney vs Swansea, January 2, 2016
There were not many spectacular moments during Louis van Gaal’s reign as Manchester United manager – but Wayne Rooney certainly bucked the trend with this effort against Swansea.
With the Red Devils going on their longest streak without a win at the time, the former England captain pulled off the sublime to earn his side three points over the Welsh side.
Anthony Martial charged down the left flank and drew back a pass into the box. Rooney used the fast pace of the ball to aim it into the top corner using his heel, as United ran out 2-1 winners and went up to fifth in the Premier League table.
What's the greatest back-heel goal you've seen? Let us know in the comments section
Thierry Henry vs Charlton, October 2, 2004
Thierry Henry pulled off this moment of brilliance against Charlton, using his strength to keep his balance and guide the ball home.
In their Invincibles season, Arsenal extended their unbeaten run in the league to 48 games. And it was the Frenchman’s superb piece of ingenuity that was the pick of the bunch.
Antonio Reyes found Henry inside the box – and even with Jon Fortune tightly marking him and his back to goal, he someway managed to bury the ball for Gunner’s second of the game, with the side cruising 4-0 to victory at Highbury.
Sadio Mane vs Watford, February 27, 2019
Sadio Mane pulled off this goal of the season contender against Watford in 2019.
Mohamed Salah broke down the right-hand side, before laying the ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold. The right-back launched a curled effort into the box – but only Mane was there in red colours.
With his back to goal and Ben Foster hurtling towards him, the attacker did the unthinkable by bouncing the ball into the ground using his heel and into the net, leaving Anfield stunned at what they had just witnessed.
The Reds smashed the Hornets 5-0 on the day – but the biggest shock of the night came via the now Bayern Munich man.
Luis Suarez vs Mallorca, December 7, 2019
Luis Saurez showed why he is considered arguably Barcelona’s greatest-ever number nine with a superb effort against Mallorca during Barcelona’s 5-2 thrashing of the side.
The Blaugrana were leading 3-1 when the former Liverpool striker forged a way into the net using the back of his heel, topping off some brilliant intricate, one-touch play between the players, in true Barcelona fashion.
After the match, Suarez said of the Puska-nominated goal: “It's the best goal of my career. I knew that it was a tight angle and the last option I had was to hit it with my heel. I was looking to bounce it because I had very little chance against the goalkeeper.
"[Head coach Ernesto] Valverde tells me that sometimes I miss the easiest ones and score the most difficult ones."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Italy, June 18, 2004
In Sweden's group-stage game against Italy in the 2004 European Championship, Zlatan showed the world his acrobatic prowess with a stunning flicked goal.
The Azzurri took the lead through Antonio Cassano in the first half, but then the towering forward equalised late on.
The then-22-year-old had Gianluigi Buffon charging at him, so with the ball close-by, he opted to use the martial arts he learned in Malmo and performed a jumping back heel, lobbing the ball over those standing on the goal-line.
“A back-flick was the only move that I could do,” said Ibrahimovic of the goal. “I didn’t see Vieri [standing on the goal-line], but I was over the moon to see the ball sail into the net. It was a fantastic feeling.”
Laurent Robert vs Fulham, January 19, 2004
Laurent Robert is mostly known for his devastating strikes from range – but against Fulham, he pulled off something a bit different.
It’s not often a goal is both an overhead kick and a backheel but the Frenchman combined both to produce a stunning back-heel goal against the Cottagers.
Nolberto Solano was fed through on the right-flank and the Peru international looped the ball back into the box.
Robert had plenty of time and even no one around him. In fact, he could have just as easily headed the ball in, but instead, the winger opted to pivot his body and use the back of his heel to put the ball past Edwin van der Sar in goal, with the Magpies winning 3-2 on the night.
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