Every now and then someone performs a piece of skill in football that defies limitations imposed by the body, tactics and team responsibilities. In modern football, individual flashiness is discouraged. It is exactly because of this such moments happen very rarely and are so precious to witness. The scorpion goal is the cream of such unexpected and yet welcome aspects of the game. Here are the top 10 of them:
10. Edinson Cavani (Napoli)
It’s hard not to notice the towering figure of Cavani rushing down the pitch, chasing after the ball and usually getting it to roll into the net. But it’s even harder not to notice one of his finer and more skillful goals. This scorpion kick:
9. Dmytro Ulyanov (Avanhard Kramatorsk)
Ulyanov is a young Ukrainian defender who emerged from the youth ranks of Metalurh Kramatorsk. Perhaps he should’ve been an artist though, because with such taste for aesthetics, he would’ve gone a long way:
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Inter Milan)
Long before he moved to Italy, Zlatan had began to build a reputation for being a heel master. He proved it yet again with this spectacular scorpion king:
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovich (Sweden)
No list is complete without a few entries from Zlatan. This one is from the European championship in 2004: a great trampoline for such a piece of skill to be blasted off into the skies of football greatness.
6. Henrikh Mikhtarian (Manchester United)
Mikhtarian may have been the reason for Armenian song ‘Sabre dance’ to reach almost hymn-like levels at Shakthar Donetsk–it was played every time he scored–but for Manchester United, he would be the scorpion king, for this piece:
5. Motaz Salhani (Al Wehdat)
Salhani is a striker close to the dawn of his career. He never was a great striker if statistics serve as a proper judge. He spent his whole career in the Syrian and Jordan Leagues. He played six matches and scored one goal for Al Wehdat, a sole goal that sealed him a place in football history:
4. Festus Baise (Guizhou Zhicheng)
This one is special and should be placed in a separate category because it was perhaps the most beautiful own goal anyone has ever scored in football. If it was at the other end of the pitch, it would’ve still stood as one of the greatest:
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovich (PSG)
Ibrahimovich grew up in an area where flashiness was cherished. He learned from a small boy how to perform Brazilian tricks and this has stuck with him on the pitch.
His succulent scorpion kick for Paris Saint Germain serves as a testament for his inner peacock.
2. Carsten Kammlott (Erfurt)
If you even need to analyse the structure of the scorpion kick, this is the one you need to watch. You start as if to execute a diving header, the ball skips past the head and connects with the heel instead, and then you roll forward. If perfectly executed, it’s a rare sight of joy:
1. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
Cross the ball to Giroud and nine out of ten times he will head it towards the goal with deadly accuracy, but this one time…