Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: bicycle kick, derby, escape to victory, manchester city, Manchester United, overhead kick, Pelé, Premier League, Rooney
Wayne Rooney has been in disappointing form so far this season but on Saturday 12th February the England international showed just how good he can be using the perfect technique and body shape while hanging in the air – pure genius. The match was in the English Premier League, the Manchester derby between United and City at Old Trafford – boring game lit up by this goal that was also the winner.
Nani put in a cross from the right flank which clipped Pablo Zabaleta, but Rooney was there to think instinctively and went for a spectacular overhead kick that flew past England goalkeeper Joe Hart and into the City net.
After the game, Rooney said that it was the best goal he has ever scored, and enthused: “I saw the ball come in the box and I thought ‘Why not?’ I tried to get in a good position from when Nani crossed it. Nine times out of 10 they go over the crossbar or wide. I tried it and thankfully it’s gone in the top corner.
“You don’t have time to think about what you’re going to do. It’s the first one since I started playing professionally so I’m delighted, especially as it has given us three points.”
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was impressed: “He is a fantastic player who has done a fantastic thing. It was genius.”
Former Manchester City player Mike Summerbe said: “Pele did something similar in Escape To Victory. It took a goal like that to beat us – a moment of Rooney magnificence to do it.”
And here’s Pele’s overhead kick in Escape to Victory:
How to do the overhead kick
This skill is all about balance and technique. Get those right and you may have a chance of kicking the ball cleanly. It’s not an easy skill to perfect but your players will have a great deal of fun trying to do it. Practice it on soft ground to prevent your players injuring their backs, but don’t let them overdo it.
How to practice it
- Players throw a ball in the air.
- Jump up using the kicking foot as a spring.
- Then bring the kicking foot up and hands down to break fall.
- Twist your body so you don’t land on your back and use your arms to cushion your landing.