Video: Probably the best goal you'll see all year... from the Russian third division
Football fans will go to incredible lengths to get their footy fix before the start of the new season, and those watching the Russian third division on Monday were in for a real treat.
A clash between Sokol Saratov and Spartak Tambov may not mean much to you and me, but as it was the opening game of the Russian third division it was an important encounter for both sides and a little known player by the name of Evgeny Shcherbakov ensured it will live long in the memory.
With Sokol Saratov’s tails up thanks to a 1-0 lead they took into the break, Shcherbakov pounced for his side’s second goal minutes into the second half with a strike that probably won’t be bettered in world football this year.
Taking the ball on his chest while running backwards towards the opposition goal, Shcherbakov swivelled and struck an outrageous volley into the top corner from 30 yards, prompting a delirious reaction from his teammates and the fans in the half-empty stadium.
The technique to control the ball was Zidane-like, while even the likes of spectacular-volley expert Marco van Basten would have been proud of the finish.
Unfortunately, Shcherbakov is unlikely ever to enjoy the same profile or get to play on the same stage graced by those two throughout their glittering careers, but he deserves his five minutes of fame for this effort and like Matty Burrows a couple of years back, he could be receiving a call when Uefa sit down to decide their goal of the season a little further down the line.
Take a minute to appreciate the quality of the goal in the video above.
Hat-tip to James Appell on Twitter for this one.