Wayne Rooney delighted Goodison Park with a goal from inside his own half against West Ham United, sealing his first Everton hat-trick as they romped to a 4-0 victory.
Asked if he had ever scored a better goal, Rooney said: “I don’t think so.
“It’s one of — if not the — best goals I’ve scored. I hit it as well as I’ve ever kicked a football. To make it my first hat-trick for Everton, I’m delighted.”
The spectacular strike on Wednesday has sparked debate about which is the best long-distance goal in Premier League history.
AFP Sport looks at some of the other contenders:
Wayne Rooney v West Ham United, March 2014
Rooney’s mesmerising strike against West Ham was not his first goal from a stupendous distance. It was not even the first goal of its type he has scored against West Ham. Rooney, then a Manchester United player under current Hammers manager David Moyes, won the ball on the halfway line before unleashing a looping shot that flew over the head of despairing goalkeeper Adrian. United legend David Beckham, who had scored a similar goal nearly two decades earlier, was in the crowd at Upton Park to witness the goal.
David Beckham v Wimbledon, August 1996
Beckham’s goal for Manchester United against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park made everybody sit up and take notice. The shy, quietly spoken 21-year-old sent his profile soaring when he took aim from just inside his own half before chipping Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan. The ball was perfectly weighted, brushing the back of the net without a single bounce, and Beckham, who was mobbed by his team-mates, never looked back.
Maynor Figueroa v Stoke City, December 2009
Figueroa’s strike may not have propelled him into the sporting stratosphere like Beckham’s did, but his goal for unfashionable Wigan Athletic against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium was just as memorable. Wigan won a free-kick a couple of yards inside their own half and as both teams shuffled back into position, the quick-thinking Figueroa came darting towards the stationary ball. The Honduran then rifled it with his left foot over the scrambling Thomas Sorensen and into the corner of the net for one of the Premier League’s greatest goals.
Charlie Adam v Chelsea, April 2015
Adam’s talent for striking the ball is well known, but his effort at Stamford Bridge was extraordinary. Chelsea’s attack had broken down and as Stoke countered, Adam received possession midway inside his own half. The midfielder took a touch so that when he unleashed his shot the ball was just short of the tip of the centre circle. It soared over Thibaut Courtois, who tried to palm the ball away, but could not keep it out.
Xabi Alonso v Newcastle United, September 2006
Alonso had already scored from the halfway line nine months earlier against Luton Town in the FA Cup and the Spaniard showed his technical excellence once more against Newcastle at Anfield. Charles N’Zogbia lost possession and Alonso looked left and right to start a counter-attack. With no obvious options for a pass, he instead drilled a shot from inside his own half and while goalkeeper Steve Harper slipped as he rushed back, even on his feet he might not have stopped such a supreme effort.
Luis Suarez v Norwich City, April 2012
Suarez’s lob against Norwich came around 10 yards into his opponents’ half, but it was no less impressive. The Uruguayan bustled past Elliott Ward on the halfway line and scampered forwards before driving the ball perfectly beyond John Ruddy and into the Norwich net. Like Rooney’s latest strike against West Ham, the goal completed Suarez’s hat-trick at Carrow Road and in the most spectacular fashion.