Henrik – his greatest goal?
Since the days of The Lisbon Lions,we have been blessed to witness some great talents wearing those revered and iconic Green and White Hoops. Such as Connolly,Dalglish,McGrain,Stanton,Aitken,McClair,Burns,McStay maintained the standards through the next two decades. And the last twenty five years have given us more talents since,in the shape of Lubo,Naka,Petrov,Sutton and on to the more recent I Wanna,Moussa and Broonie. You could name many more who deserve to be on that list and I doubt that I would quibble.
The greatest of them all,certainly in the new era post-1994,was and is Henrik Larsson. That might be the least controversial comment I’ve ever made on here! I could wax lyrical about him all day,but that is an article for another day. And we are blessed with the wordsmiths to contribute just that to the site.
But what was his greatest goal? His most memorable one,certainly,is THAT audacious chip in The Demolition Derby in August,2000. And we are spoiled for choice,given that he scored an astonishing 242 times for us.
Hat tricks in cup finals even came easy to this man,and he scored some stoatirs against Kilmarnock in the League Cup Final of 2001 (Apparently he only played eleven times for us in seven League Cup campaigns,something that I find strange. Maybe wiki at it again.)
Another two that stick in my mind are a diving header against Kilmarnock,also at Hampden,where he was about eight yards out and eight yards wide and running away,diving away,from the goal. It flew in anyway,which beggars belief. His calmness personified in Boavista to put us through to Seville. There are too many to list,but the more I think about the subject the more I think-I’ve got to mention that one!
His greatest goal,for me,was his first that famous night in Seville. Now,I’ll be honest here and tell you that I have only ever watched that game since. But I’ve watched his two goals many times. Each was a peach! For the second,a straightforward header from a corner-but there was nothing straightforward about the way he gave his marker the slip to find so much space to plant the ball just where he wanted it.
And there was certainly nothing straightforward about planting the ball just where he wanted it for his first. Watch it again. (And again!) He looks up,sees Didi Agathe on the right with time and space to cross it. Now,much as I loved him in The Hoops,Didi’s crossing wasn’t always done with pinpoint accuracy. This was no different,even if better than some!
When it arrived at a playable height,it was about five yards beyond the post and two yards out. And with the keeper standing on his line,and a player fiercely challenging him,I doubt that there’s a player on the planet that would fancy his chances from there,particularly as again he was running slightly away from the goal.
Henrik rises to meet it. He hovers in the air as he watches the trajectory of the ball. He knows where the keeper is. He knows the only place to put it to beat him,to score the goal. It will be his 200th for Celtic too. This is his chance,but he is already airborne and knows there will be a challenge coming to push him off the ball while he is in mid-air.
And come,it does. But somehow he holds his position regardless and lowers his head onto the ball to give it the gentle nudge,and in EXACTLY the right direction,to effect a lob over the keeper,across his line and just inside the far post.
How he bliddy did it,I still to this day have no idea. I remain convinced that it truly was his greatest goal for us,which required such technique that it could only ever be scored by a top top player playing at the top of his game. Others may think differently,and I expect many of you will,but I’ll say it again-I have never watched that game since and have no intentions of doing so.
But I could watch that goal all day. Every day. And I will never tire of it.
Above article by BMCUWP. This writing lark is dead easy. Go on,give it a try. Bugger all else to do,so this is your chance. Drop us a line,give us your thoughts,have Article of the Day all to yourself. Mail Mahe