In the 77th minute of the Manchester derby between United and City on Saturday February 12, 2011, United’s Wayne Rooney scored a bicycle kick goal to break a 1-1 draw and give his team a famous win.
It is a goal worth watching again and again.
And it could be one of the best goals ever.
Best quotes on the Rooney Bicycle Kick Goal:
Wayne Rooney >
“That is my best goal. It was such an important game and to score the winning goal in that way was a great feeling – indescribable. I have seen it again. I was just trying to keep my eye on the ball and to get a good connection. Luckily it went into the top corner.”
“I think that was the best goal I’ve ever scored. I saw Nani’s cross coming into the box and I was just trying to keep my eye on the ball and get a good connection. I just hit it and nine times out of 10 they go over the crossbar or wide, but thankfully this time it went top corner. I suppose it’s instinct – you don’t have time to think about what you are going to do and I haven’t scored a bicycle kick since I was at school. I wasn’t really pleased with my performance until then but a few of the lads said just stay up there and you’ll get a chance – thankfully I did and put it away. When it went in you could see the joy on the faces of the fans, the players and manager – it was great, but until then it was anyone’s game.
Roberto Mancini, Manchester City Manager >
Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager >
“I’ve not seen anything like that. It was absolutely stunning. Unbelievable. Rooney once hit a volley against Newcastle here, but in terms of excitement you’ve never seen that. Nani’s goal was fantastic but it will be completely forgotten.”
“I haven’t seen anything like it, that’s for sure. It was absolutely stunning. It reminded me of Denis Law, whether Denis ever put them in with that kind of ferocity I’m not sure, but it was unbelievable.”
Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United defender, via Twitter >
Henry Winter @ the Telegraph >
“Goals pay the rent, as David Coleman famously observed, and Wayne Rooney certainly helps out with the overheads. His phenomenal bicycle kick was more than a touch of class to settle a local scrap. It might have decided a national dispute.”
Phil McNulty @ the BBC >
“…Rooney did something that every United fan who witnessed it will recall forever, every neutral who was party to it will treasure and even City’s supporters may secretly admire once the pain it inflicted subsides. With 12 minutes left, Nani’s speculative right-wing cross took a crucial glance off Pablo Zabaleta. The touch wrong-footed the magnificent Vincent Kompany just slightly to provoke a stumble and with Micah Richards already stooping instinctively to complete a clearing header Rooney struck. Readjusting his position to compensate for a cross that was high and behind him, Rooney performed a triumph of touch, technique and athleticism to flash a right-footed bicycle kick high and wide of motionless and startled City keeper Joe Hart. It is a story that deserves telling again in full because it will be repeated for years whenever Manchester derbies are discussed.”
Rory McIlroy, pro golfer, while playing in the Dubai Desert Classic, via Twitter >
Matthew De George, writer for a small American paper which clearly doesn’t “do” much football / soccer >
“It’s not often that I use this space to extol the virtues of the beautiful game. Though the intricacies of the various European leagues are capable of engrossing me more than most American sports can, I still try to refrain from too heavily touting the sport. But the moment produced in Saturday’s Manchester United vs. Manchester City game is worth stepping outside your sporting comfort zone.”
Steve Tongue @ the Independent >
“The visiting supporters’ joy, and taunts, lasted no more than 13 minutes before the player they had been jeering silenced them with the goal of the season. The build-up included a lucky touch from Rooney, in finding Paul Scholes, who passed to Nani. A slight deflection on the cross sent the ball behind Rooney, who leapt with his back to goal and hit a bicycle kick of the ferocity that only Mark Hughes in his prime could match.”
Mike Summerbee, Manchester City legend >
(See our video essay: How the Rooney bicycle kick is similar to Pele’s in the movie “Escape to Victory“)
Paul Hayward @ the Guardian >
“In Rooney’s demeanour there is still a hint of unhappiness, or disaffection, or perhaps just lack of confidence. The past 10 months have shaken his apparent belief that a life in football would be one long talent parade in which the gift he was born with would solve all problems. There is no longer a sense of destiny about his rise as a great English footballer. But packed inside him still is an ability to transcend the pressure of a tight match with a daring act. For five seconds he was no longer the star who fell to earth but the Croxteth schoolboy rising above mortal constraints.”
Manchester United teammate Michael Carrick >
“I felt shock and surprise because it was completely out of the blue. But at the same time there was pure elation. I was standing on the touchline about to come on and thought of doing a (Jose) Mourinho down the line. Straight away you knew you’d witnessed something special. It’s an instinctive thing. The ball was delivered in the right way for the overhead kick and was the perfect height for him to get up there and volley it. But it’s one thing seeing it, quite another being able to do it. The power and direction he got behind it were incredible.”