Football review 2012: The best goals of the year

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A look back at the year in football

With the year drawing to a close, our series looks back at the highs, lows, absurd and brilliant from the world of football in 2012.

The Independent's football writers have been asked to come up with their moments of the year - and here they look back at the best goals. These are their picks...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden v England, November, selected by Sam Wallace

It would have been hard enough to pull off if he was facing goal with the ball sitting up nicely for him to hit. To lob Joe Hart with an overhead kick executed with his back to goal did rather put the ribbons on it.

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City v QPR, May, selected by Ian Herbert

Sergio Aguero's title-winning strike in May. Nothing can come close for an example of grace under pressure. The boy has ice in his veins.

Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle v Bolton, selected by Martin Hardy

Ben Arfa's mesmeric goal against Blackburn in the FA Cup was short-listed for Fifa's Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of the year. His strike against Bolton was technically even better. Ben Arfa took a pass and turned an opponent in one move (inside his own half) to begin the run that would take him past four Bolton players, even having the audacity to chip the ball up ever so slightly during his run to leave those that saw it mesmerised.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden v England, November, selected by Steve Tongue

An overhead or scissors kick is always spectacular but carries a random element. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's against England was wonderfully precise as well as visionary.

 

Luis Suarez, Liverpool v Norwich, selected by Jack Pitt-Brooke

Luis Suarez scored two remarkable hat-tricks at Carrow Road in 2012. The first, in April, was probably the best, because of how he completed it.

With eight minutes left and Liverpool 2-0, Glen Johnson cleared the ball from his own by-line. Suarez, just inside his own half, controlled the ball and nutmegged Elliott Ward on the turn with his first preposterous touch.

With Suarez's second touch he knocked the ball in front of him and with his third, still 50 yards from goal, he drove the ball in a perfect arc over John Ruddy's head and down into the top corner of the net.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden v England, November, selected by Glenn Moore

It is not just the execution, which itself combines balletic grace with extraordinary athleticism, but the audacity of conception and the anticipation. Ibrahimovic is moving towards where he knows Joe Hart's header is going to land even before Hart himself realizes he has mis-judged his leap. For older readers it is as if Roy Race was inhabiting Dead-Shot Keen's boots.

Football review 2012...

Tweets of the year

Chants of the year

Quotes of the year

Haircuts of the year

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filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Jessica Chastain during an interview in Los Angeles.
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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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