Join us in celebrating Wilfried Zaha’s exquisitely silky first Galatasaray golazo
Wilfried Zaha and a move to Turkish giants Galatasaray felt like a match made in heaven from the minute it was announced in summer – and his first goal for the club certainly backs up that feeling.
From the moment the tricky 30-year-old’s Crystal Palace contract expired, a free transfer to the Turkish Super Lig suddenly felt more inevitable than Everton losing at home to Luton, a week after managing a brilliant win away to Brentford. Sorry, Toffees.
The epitome of the modern-day streets won’t forget Premier League baller, Zaha ticks all the boxes for a stint in Turkey. Former Manchester United player, a complete bag of tricks and skills, a ‘nearly’ man for what felt like a decade – if there was ever a game of Turkish Super Lig bingo, he’d be the full house.
So when he headed to Istanbul and signed on the dotted line with Gala in July, we were absolutely over the moon.
Seriously. The Turkish Super Lig is perhaps one of the most overlooked top flights in all of football.
Containing every calibre of player from washed up baller wanting a payday, to up-and-coming Turkish talents and the occasional big name coup such as Zaha, it makes for the most unserious and batsh*t crazy royal rumble of football one could dream of.
For those who don’t consider themselves Super Lig enthusiasts like us at Planet Football, though, Zaha’s move was polarising.
Does he smack of flop in Turkey before a quiet end to his career, or will he look *too* good over there and rue not sticking around in Europe’s top five?
The answer is neither. The 30-year-old is now playing Champions League football and taking the p*ss out of defenders in the Turkish sun. That’s a career we’d all dream of.
We’re here today to not only celebrate Zaha’s decision in heading to Turkey, but to gorp over his maiden goal for Galatasaray, because it’s an absolute corker – and the most textbook Zaha goal one could imagine.
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) October 1, 2023
Everything about it is so beautifully FIFA Street. We can’t stop watching it. Take a bow, Wilf.
Is it a Puskas-contending net buster? Not quite. But it might be one of the most aesthetically pleasing finishes of the year.
Taking the ball with his back to goal from the touchline, Zaha seamlessly rolls himself into the box with a turn so smooth it’d leave you with a week of vertigo to bypass his first opposition defender.
Defender number two then comes charging at him, but is sent packing in a heap just as easily as his colleague was with a damning body feint to open up a sight of goal.
The body feint was so powerful, though, that the Ankaragucu goalkeeper found himself off balance and out of position. Zaha, smelling blood and fuelled by a combination of sickening skill, musters up all the ‘have it!’ he’s got in his body and lashes it into the roof of the net, with the perfect amount of curve, power and whip.
Put your hands behind that and you’ll be having people sign your casts for months. No chance of stopping it.
Zaha then wheels away to bask in the ambience of his new followers, the Gala faithful who’ve erupted around the goal. Scenes you absolutely love to see.
His Turkish adventure has gotten off to the perfect start, and we can only see it getting better from here.
Net busters, ankle breakers and soul snatchers. Wilf’s arrived.
By Mitch Wilks