Ibrahimovic, Cavani and the Greatest Scorpion Kicks in History After Paul Onuachu’s Scores Beauty

Ibrahimovic, Cavani and the Greatest Scorpion Kicks in History After Paul Onuachu’s Scores Beauty

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
Zlatan Ibrahimović logo
Z. Ibrahimović
AC Milan logoFSweden logo
Edinson Cavani logo
Boca Juniors logoFUruguay logo
Olivier Giroud logo
AC Milan logoFFrance logo
  • Pablo Fornals came up with an improvised scorpion kick against Bournemouth last season
  • The scorpion kick is one of the hardest techniques to pull off during a game
  • Olivier Giroud won the Puskas Award at Arsenal for his effort vs Crystal Palace

As far as aesthetic goals go, none come close to overhead kicks. The ability of a player to, at times, defy gravity to strike the ball with their heel sounds crazy on paper - only the result is always pleasing to watch and more often than not, such goals make it to Puskas' nominees list.

West Ham United's Pablo Fornals scored an improvised scorpion kick for his side's fourth goal against Bournemouth on April 23 in what was a satisfying afternoon for the Hammers last season.

Pablo Fornals, West Ham, Bournemouth, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Olivier Giroud, scorpion goals
Pablo Fornals scores with an acrobatic effort against Bournemouth. Photo by Rob Newell.
Source: Getty Images

However, fans online criticised Fornals' effort, dismissing it as a scorpion kick, although the technique used was quite similar.

Paul Onuachu was similarly at hand to score a ridiculous goal for Trabzonspor during their league match against Konyaspor. Standing at six-foot-six inch, his was more of an acrobatic kick than a scorpion goal, but he did catch it with the back of his heel, revoking memories of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agility back in the day.

Sports Brief takes a look at some of the greatest scorpion kick goals in history - please note this list is nowhere near objective.

5. Anthony Knockaert (2012)

In his maiden season at Leicester City, Knockaert arched his foot to connect beautifully with an in-swinging cross, which grazed the crossbar and ricocheted off the Huddersfield goalkeeper into the back of the net.

4. Edinson Cavani (2011)

El Matador will go down as one of the best strikers of his generation. The Uruguayan always has an eye for goal and in 2011, he put Juventus to the sword by scoring a hat-trick of headers - or so many thought.

Cavani's third goal in that game saw him hang in low, but the ball actually hit his heel and went into the net. It remains one of the craziest scorpion goals from such a position.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

It is known the Swede will always find a way to immerse himself in a conversation about technical goals. In 2014 while at Paris Saint-Germain, the tall striker scored one against Bastia just after the defenders thought the ball had evaded him.

He also scored in this style during his Major League Soccer days, taking the ball down with his heel and turning around with it akin to a karate move.

2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (2016)

Mkhitaryan didn't have the best of spells at Old Trafford, especially considering how he was forced to leave, but he will definitely cherish his goal against Sunderland well into his retirement.

Ibrahimovic was the provider in this case when he whipped in a ball into the area and rather instinctively, Mkhitaryan reacted by 'lobbing' the ball with his heel.

1. Olivier Giroud

The best of the bunch. Giroud has remained an underrated striker throughout his career but in 2017, he deservedly got his plaudits by ushering the New Year in style.

He scored against Crystal Palace to finish off a blistering Arsenal counterattack on January 1. For his effort, the Frenchman was rewarded with the Puskas Award that year.

Players who lost after divorce

Sports Brief also reported on the continued interest from fans about footballers' relationships and marriages, sometimes eclipsing what the players achieve on the pitch.

While some stars are fortunate to have found true love before they rose to fame, such as Lionel Messi, others prefer to avoid the sometimes contentious issue of matrimony.

There are also those who tied the knot while pursuing their careers and had happy endings, while other footballers were married but did not manage to make things forever.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)