Top five: Great goals scored in friendlies

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Cristiano Ronaldo's magnificent free-kick against Chelsea last night was one of the most stunning goals of his career.

It's a crying shame it was wasted in a meaningless friendly.

Had the goal been scored in a game of real importance, we'd undoubtedly be hearing about it for years to come.

But fortunately for Ronaldo, he's not the only player to score a beautiful goal away from competitive football.

Here are five other unfortunate souls who scored friendly goals good enough to win any match in any competition.

5. Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan) v Barcelona

Filippo Inzaghi rarely scored spectacular goals during his glittering AC Milan career: most of them were two-yard tap-ins.

But with the pressure off, the now-retired Italy international scored a magnificent left-footed volley at the Nou Camp of all places against the mighty Barcelona.

The best of his career? He didn't score many better.

4. Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) v Juventus

This goal was incredible for two reasons: the finish from Ruud van Nistelrooy, and the even better outside-of-the-boot assist by Juan Sebastian Veron.

The Argentina international picked out the prolific Dutchman with a pass of the highest quality, and Van Nistelrooy matched it with a quite brilliant turn and volley.

Scroll to 2:30mins in the video to see the goal.

3. Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea) v Wycombe Wanderers

Yossi Benayoun's Chelsea career never truly got going - but he did score arguably the best goal of his career with the Blues.

In a pre-season friendly against Wycombe Wanderers, Benayoun juggled the ball with his heel, before lifting the ball over the opposition goalkeeper with the same body part.

2. Thierry Henry (Arsenal) v SC Wiez

Thierry Henry scored his fair share of sensational goals during his wonderful Arsenal career - most of them coming in the biggest matches.

But his glorious goal against SC Wiez in a pre-season friendly is up there with the best of them.

The France international took two masterful touches to beat his defender before lifting the ball over the goalkeeper. The ball didn't even touch the floor. Class.

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden) v England

This is undoubtedly one of the best goals ever scored in a friendly match. It can even be argued that few better goals have been scored in competitive matches.

Yes, England goalkeeper Joe Hart was off his line. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his fourth goal of the night with a 35-yard - or more - overhead kick. A 35-yard overhead kick!

It was a breathtaking moment of genius from someone who once divided opinion. Not anymore.

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Thierry Henry
Yossi Benayoun

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