Reuters Soccer Blog

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Rooney strike — wonder goal or shinpad special?


SOCCER-ENGLAND/Wayne Rooney’s overhead scissors kick goal to win the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Saturday has sparked a tidal wave of hyperbole in the British media, with “wonder goal” the most popular tag used to describe it.

The general consensus was not that it was just the nailed-on winner for “goal of the season” but was also the best of Rooney’s career and even the best ever seen at Old Trafford.

There must be some short memories in the north-west. The hundreds of thousands of fans who witnessed George Best score stupendous goals of every type – the vast majority never televised and enjoyed once and once only by those in the ground – will shake their heads in disbelief at how such a sweeping statement can quickly attract such currency.

There is no question that it was a great goal that took athleticism, confidence and precise skill – but even with all three of those elements in place it still looked as if the ball flew into the top corner off Rooney’s shin pad rather than his boot.

Would a unified Britain have won more than one World Cup?


Resistance to plans for a unified British soccer team for the 2012 London Olympics means the idea may well be a one-off, if it gets off the ground at all.

The four home nations are wary of setting precedents that could harm their independent status, despite their lack of success as separate entities.