Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the 10 Best Training-Ground Goals
There are three things in life that give Zlatan Ibrahimovic great pleasure: boasting about himself in the third person, insulting his mortal enemy, Pep Guardiola, and scoring incredible acrobatic free-kicks.
Paris Saint-Germain's talismanic striker did the latter during a training session in Hong Kong this week, when he Kung Fu volleyed an absolute worldy.
The Swede is no stranger to beautiful training-ground volleys, but even within the pantheon of Zlatan goals ("Zloals"), this was special.
The mighty Zlatan's efforts have inspired this list of 10 fantastic training-ground goals. Take a look and leave your nominations in the comments.
Sergio Ramos was in full showboating mode when he scored from behind the goal during a Champions League training session at the Allianz Arena last season.
However, the Real Madrid defender's best practise strike might have been his neat flick volley while on duty with Spain in 2013.
While training with Atletico Mineiro last year, the Brazilian forward caught a chest pass with his back to goal and proceeded to pull off a magnificent overhead kick.
Unlike this famous piece of skill, the former Barcelona star had no help from computers for this training-ground treasure.
Zinedine Zidane was the master of grace and elegance during big matches, and he could make sublime goals look embarrassingly easy during training too.
In 2011—five years after his retirement—Zizou showed Real Madrid's Galacticos how it's done. The French midfielder dummied the goalkeeper twice before gracefully lobbing it into the net.
He may as well have completed the move by pulling the keeper's shorts down.
The Netherlands put on a very poor show at Euro 2012, but at least Wesley Sneijder scored a goal to remember.
While training at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, Ukraine, prior to Holland's opening game, the Galatasaray midfielder scored an incredible backheel volley.
If only he had done that a few times during the actual tournament, the Dutch might not have headed home with their tails between their legs.
While training with PSV Eindhoven in 2011, Ibrahim Afellay scored the kind of worldy that you have to see a few times to truly appreciate.
After trapping and controlling the ball, the Dutch winger backheels it with his right foot onto his left heel, which he uses to lob the keeper.
It's the kind of move that takes a lot of mettle to pull off. No wonder Barcelona came swooping in for his services shortly after.
Joe Hart is so much more than a world-class goalkeeper and a Jack Wilshere pool-party accomplice—he can also find the net in style.
During a Manchester City training session near the beginning of the 2011-12 season, the England shot-stopper rifled a volley against the crossbar. When the ball bounced back in his direction, he pulled off a perfect overhead bicycle kick.
Even Hart himself would have had trouble saving that one.
The England team isn't usually associated with thrilling play, so Frank Lampard's brilliant long-ranger during training in May last year was certainly one for the books.
During a practise before facing the Republic of Ireland, Super Frank sent the ball 50 yards over Ben Foster's head and into the net.
New York City FC will be hoping to see a few of these during MLS matches next year.
Manchester City's tendency to film and broadcast virtually every training session leads to some interesting moments getting caught on camera. Like this.
Hart isn't the only man at Carrington to score beautiful overhead kicks—here's Montenegrin midfielder Stevan Jovetic's effort back in March. Sadly, it didn't seem to do his first-team prospects much good.
Francesco Totti is approximately 138 years old, so the Roma legend has been through enough training sessions to have scored some special goals.
While at a Giallorossi open training session at the Stadio Olimpico in 2007, Totti pulled off one of the greatest penalty kicks of all time.
This backheel move, however, is probably best reserved for the training ground—when a player in the UAE pulled it off in a friendly game in 2011, he was given a yellow card and faced a fine for being disrespectful!
During his short career, 21-year-old Ravel Morrison has hit the headlines a few times for the wrong reasons, but he legitimately stole our attention in November 2013 with a miraculous training-ground move.
While practising with the England U21 team, the West Ham midfielder met a cross with a powerful left-footed flick.
If only he used this much intelligence away from the field...