The great overhead kick debate: was Alejandro Garnacho’s the best ever?

It was undoubtedly one of the best ever — but where exactly does it rank amongst the greats?

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 27th November 2023

This past weekend, we saw one of the all-time great goals not just in the Premier League but arguably in the history of the beautiful game full-stop, leaving football fans debating where Alejandro Garancho’s worldie ranks among the best overhead kicks of all time.

For anyone who somehow missed the goal of the season — and yes, barring truly extraordinary circumstances, the competition is almost certainly over — the Man United starlet proved exactly why Reds are so excited about him, scoring just his first league goal of the year in mind-blowing fashion.

Erik ten Hag‘s side went on to win the game 3-0 despite Everton staying in the game and creating a lot of chances throughout, but such a scoreline could never have been achieved were it not for the 19-year-old’s truly remarkable strike.

Less than three minutes into the game, a whipped cross from Diogo Dalot saw the young Argentine leap and wrap his foot around the fast-paced ball to place what will probably go down as the greatest finish of his career into the far right corner. Incredible.

It doesn’t matter who you support, you can’t help but get chills witnessing moments like that.


As Gary Neville and Roy Keane said on the night, the acrobatic leap was like “nothing else” and the best they’ve ever seen, with Chris Sutton insisting it is without a doubt “the greatest overhead kick of all time”, but naturally fans can’t but weigh it up against similar screamers from the past.

The most obvious comparison that came to mind straight away was Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick against Manchester City in 2011, which was officially voted the best Premier League goal in the first two decades since the competition started.


While it was undoubtedly a bigger goal, being the winner in a Manchester derby, Keane said in the post-match on Sunday that Garnacho‘s technique was more impressive and “cleaner” than its predecessor — not the first time Rooney’s finish has been dubbed ‘the greatest shin-roller of all time’.

And, obviously, the next great contemporary Garnacho’s wondergoal was compared against is Cristiano Ronaldo’s overhead kick for Real Madrid in the 2017/18 Champions League quarter-finals against Juventus.

The fact that the current United man emulated his sporting hero by copying the former club legend’s well-known ‘Siu!’ celebration definitely helped put CR7‘s incredible leap from five years ago in mind, but for many Garnacho’s is now their favourite of the two.


Once again, undoubtedly a bigger goal than one of three in any old league game at Goodison Park and still unreal technique, but the fact that Garnacho’s was further out and he had to stray back a few yards before jumping also seems to be a factor.

It’s also worth reminding that Ronaldo pulled his off at the age of 33. Who do you reckon did it better?

Speaking of belters scored by former Real Madrid players and Premier League legends, while there are obviously several more strikes of a similar fashion that have been scored down the years, the final spot in the ‘overhead kicks top four’ is Gareth Bale’s stunner in the Champions League final.

Blasted home in the same season as his Madrid teammate, goals don’t come much bigger than an overhead kick in a UCL final and we still think about this one regularly and how weird it is that it was scored by a man who wholeheartedly admits that he prefers golf to football.

This one seems to be the real sticking point on social media as not only is it the bigger and better goal purely based on the nature of the game it came in but because the technique and distance were also similarly impressive from Wales’ greatest-ever player.


While some are arguing that the build-up sequence that led to Garnacho’s overhead kick was better than Bale’s, we really can’t pick a favourite at this point and this is only from a handful of the most immediate examples that come to mind.

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What’s your verdict: where does Alejandro Garnacho’s overhead kick rank compared to the best overhead kicks of all time?

One thing we won’t hear any argument on is that it was comfortably one of the greatest goals we’ve ever seen in Premier League history.

Let us know of any other miraculous overhead kicks we missed, especially if you think they trump the ones on this admittedly shortlist.

To be fair, it’s often forgotten but this one from Philippe Mexès — a centre-back, no less — is definitely in the top five, we just can’t quite decide where.


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