The moment was over in a flash, but Alejandro Garnacho’s stunning bicycle kick goal against Everton on Sunday will be remembered for decades to come.
The 19-year-old’s acrobatic effort set Manchester United on the path to a 3-0 victory, but all the talk after the full-time whistle was about that goal.
It came in the third minute of the match, after Diogo Dalot delivered a cross into the Everton box. The pass was seemingly too deep for Garnacho, but the attacker managed to sort his feet, leap in the air, and connect with an overhead kick which flew past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford into the far corner of the net.
The Manchester United youngster could barely believe what he had done as he, along with millions around the world, celebrated one of the best goals in the club’s history.
“I can’t believe it to be honest,” Garnacho told Sky Sports after the game.
“I didn’t see how I scored, I just listened and thought ‘oh my god.’ One of the best goals I’ve scored of course, and I’m very happy.”
Garnacho is already considered one of the most exciting attacking prospects in world soccer and has drawn comparisons with five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo after making his senior debut for Manchester United in 2022.
The youngster even gave a nod to his former teammate, performing Ronaldo’s ‘Siu’ celebration after scoring the goal. He also posted a picture on his Instagram story of his effort being likened to Ronaldo’s overhead kick for Real Madrid against Juventus in 2018.
After Sunday’s stunning effort, the Argentine international has also drawn comparisons with another Manchester United great, Wayne Rooney.
Garnacho’s bicycle kick shared striking similarities with Rooney’s iconic overhead goal against Manchester City in 2011, but United manager Erik ten Hag was quick to play down any comparisons and urged the youngster to keep improving.
“Don’t compare, I don’t think it’s right,” Ten Hag told reporters after the match when asked about comparisons with Ronaldo and Rooney.
“They all have their own identity, but for Garnacho to go that way, he still has a lot to come. He has to work very hard, and you have to do it on a consistent basis.
“So far, he’s not, but he definitely has high potential and [is able] to do some amazing things. And it’s not the first time we saw this [talent], we have already seen glimpses.”
While his manager was reluctant to get carried away, many have been debating whether Garnacho’s effort is already the Premier League’s goal of the season.
It will almost certainly be in contention to win this year’s Puskás Award, given to the best goal in world soccer.
“It gets better every time you see it. Pure quality. Very few players in the world can do that,” Manchester United’s former captain and Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane said when analyzing the goal.
It was sentiment shared by another ex-Manchester United captain Gary Neville.
“I’ve not seen as good a goal as that from an overhead kick. That was the most beautiful overhead kick,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
Garnacho will hope to continue his brilliant form in Manchester United’s next game against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday.
But, while there is certainly more to come from this exciting talent, he will do well to score a better goal in his career.