What happens in your head? “Magic, magic…”

It was one of those rare moments. It was one of those moments when language languishes into nothingness and even the most eloquent descend into senseless drivel. It was a moment when all opinion was void, and instead replaced with pure, universal awe. And Zlatan’s bicycle kick from 30 yards out was not a mistake, nor was it a singular ounce of brilliance. This was not a mediocre player scoring the goal of his life; no, this added a fourth to an already sensational hat-trick against England. Zlatan ripped his shirt off and ran to his applauding teammates, but his post-match reaction? "It was a nice goal."

We were left speechless. Then Swedish reporter Anna Brolin asked, "What happens in your head?", and Ibrahimovic replied, "Magic, magic." There was no rebuttal to be had. An arrogance we would normally detest transformed into something beloved, something unquestionably justified. We sit here struggling for words, but what was your reaction? [GIF by Josh. Words by Eric. Follow AFR]

Dani Alves and the 63 assists.

Towards the end of this past season, there were many question marks placed around Dani Alves. Is he actually a defender? What exactly does he bring to Barça’s starting XI? Of course, Dani Alves is a fantastic talent. He has redefined the definition of a right back, and despite the ambiguity of his position he remains arguably the best right back in the world.

A new La Liga season begins in a month, but since joining Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 he has supplied 63 assists. 63. It’s an absurd number for any professional, especially a defender. Yet here they all are in one compilation that captures such an under appreciated aspect of Dani’s game. Also, Dani Alves and the 63 assists? Not a bad band name. [posted by EB]

"Not bad", Beckham.

The celebration contained an ounce of Cantona and a hint of Thierry Henry, but the goal was all Beckham. The opportunity presented itself, and Becks knew exactly what to do. The goal against the Portland Timbers was tremendous. His reaction? Even moreso. As Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, and company rushed towards him, David said “not bad” and laughed. At 37 years old, the legend lives on.

Andoni Iraola’s golazo that could have been

Athletic Bilbao and Marcelo Bielsa have given Manchester United yet another lesson in how to play vibrant, attacking, entertaining football. They defeated United for the second time in a row, this time 2-1 at home at the San Mamés (5-3 on aggregate). While Llorente and De Marcos scored for Athletic this time around, perhaps the best move of the match was Andoni Iraola’s dribbling into the Man Utd box. It could have been a golazo. It should have been. Regardless, what a performance by the Basque as they head into the Europa League quarterfinals.

Henri Lansbury’s Wonderstrike for the England U21s

England’s U21s surprisingly demolished the Belgium U21s in an Under-21 European Championship qualifier on a day when games such as England vs. Holland, France vs. Germany, and Italy vs. the United States stood in the limelight. However, it was Henri Lansbury, the Arsenal youngster currently having a fantastic loan spell at West Ham, who decided to supply the golazo of the day from international fixtures. From 40 yards out, Lansbury put his head down, took a swing, a snuck his shot into the right corner of the Belgian goal. As unbelievable as it may seem, Lansbury claims that the goal was intentional. What do you think?

50 Very Sensible Goals

What’s a “sensible” goal you ask? Well, you’ll have to ask Sweden’s Marcus Walkin, the creator of this video, but after watching these 50 I’m leaning towards nonsensical as my adjective to describe what’s featured on this list. Maybe Marcus is being modest. When I came across this I thought it would be merely another amazing goals list of the same, repetitive rotation, but this is actually a pretty, pretty good point of reference.

Anyone who starts with George Best’s NASL stunner in ‘81 has my vote of confidence. Which is the best strike in your book?

Shunsuke Nakamura’s still got it.

Oh yes he does. Though he’s fallen off of our radar a bit since moving to the J.League and playing for the Yokohama F. Marinos, Shunsuke Nakamura couldn’t help but show us that he still is one of the best freekick takers in the game. Of course, the circumstances were a little strange, but the class is undeniable. Kicking a ball through a window of a moving bus on Japanese TV. That’s about equal to a Champions League curling 25 yard freekick in our book.

Cheekiness was the catalyst throughout this past week in assists. Marco Streller, Pedro, Jack Wilshere, Luis Suarez, and Lee Chung-Yung (with the backheel to Kevin Davies) got in on the highlight reel with their audacious flicks and tricks. Look at all these young’ins just embarrassing their elders, it’s a beautiful thing.

(Source: cheekychip)

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