Shaun Barker: Zlat's a beauty – but it's not the best goal I've ever seen
I WENT to see the new James Bond film on Wednesday night and so I missed another heroic performance, that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic against England.
I'm not really interested in watching international friendlies. To be honest, I find them a bit boring but it seems I missed something special in Sweden's 4-2 victory over England.
Not only did Ibrahimovic score all four of Sweden's goals, his fourth was a stunning overhead kick from 35 yards.
News of the special goal reached me when I went on Twitter after returning from the cinema.
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From the large number of tweets – and the tone of them – I realised something amazing had happened. Reading Tweets like "take a bow, Zlatan" and "best goal ever seen", I thought I'd better watch for myself.
It was a fantastic goal but not the best I've seen.
So where does it rank in the best goals scored. This was the topic of conversation in the treatment room at Moor Farm on Thursday morning.
I've seen Ibrahimovic score a better one himself!
He was about 18 and playing for Ajax at the time. He picked the ball up 30 yards out and left five or six defenders on their backsides within the space of 10 or 15 yards to score.
That showed breathtaking close control and skill and I'd put it on a different level to the one he scored the other night.
We must also remember the great goals scored by Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos and Ryan Giggs.
Maradona sank England in the World Cup in 1986 with an amazing goal. He produced a wonderful turn on the halfway line and then displayed power, strength, close control and patience on a mesmerising run before he slotted the ball past Peter Shilton.
Giggs scored a marvellous solo goal for Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal at Villa Park and there was the outrageous Roberto Carlos free kick for Brazil against France at Le Tournoi in 1997.
His strike from 35 yards curved so much that the ball boy 10 yards to the right of the post ducked instinctively, thinking that it would hit him.
Instead, it eventually curled back on target, much to the surprise of goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.
And what about Wayne Rooney's stunning bicycle kick against Manchester City?
I thought that was a more difficult technique and so I would put it above Ibrahimovic.
What does make Ibrahimovic's latest goal so special is that he is one of only three or four players in world football who would attempt such a thing on such a stage.
He has the audacity, the arrogance, the confidence in his own game to do something like that.
The best goal I've scored?
I would have to go for my volley in our 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in 2010.
I showed Ibrahimovic-type control when I brought the ball down on my knee and Ibrahimovic-type composure as Rangers' defender Kaspars Gorkss came flying in before I found the net with a volley!
OK, it might not have been up there in the great goals but it wasn't bad for a centre-half!
I hit one or two beauties when I played midfield for Rotherham's reserves but a defender's goals tend to be headers.
My favourite headed goal was the one I scored for Derby against Middlesbrough a couple of years ago.
CRYSTAL Palace, our opponents today, top the Championship and they have surprised quite a few people this season.
They had an extremely good manager in Dougie Freedman before he left to join Bolton Wanderers and now Ian Holloway is in charge, a man who knows what it takes to win promotion to the Premier League having guided Blackpool to the top flight.
Freedman did a tremendous job at Palace.
They have not had much money to spend and so they have had to bring young players through, like Wilfried Zaha.
I remember playing against him a couple of years ago and you could see his potential then.
He was substituted late in the game and I was pleased to see him go off because my legs were about to turn to jelly after all his twisting and turning, and his pace.
Zaha has progressed and now he looks even more of a threat.
Palace are proof that clubs sometimes have to go through tough times before they can move forward again.
It has been a similar story with us.
We know today's game at Selhurst Park will be tough but the lads have played consistently well this season.
They felt they could easily have got something from last Saturday's game at Millwall, especially after Will Hughes' equaliser.
We have yet to suffer back-to-back defeats and we are keen to maintain that record.
In past seasons, a defeat has tended to be followed by a poor run and before you knew it, we had gone seven or eight without a win.
Such runs are the reason why teams drop down the division.
The best way to stay in the top half and not far from the top six is to bounce back after a defeat.