Crouch strike the Premier League's best?

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Remember the date. Saturday 24 March 2012; the greatest ever goal in Premier League history was scored.

Peter Crouch almost single-handedly dented Manchester City's title hopes with one of the most spectacular volleys you are ever likely to see, to earn Stoke City a share of the spoils in this weekend's 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

The 6ft 7in striker has been stereotyped as a typically big 'target man' throughout his career, but showed once again that there is much more to his game, when he skillfully flicked the ball up before twisting to volley over helpless City goalkeeper Joe Hart from 25 yards out.

"I do it every day in training, practice volleying. It is something I've always enjoyed doing," Crouch told the BBC. "When the ball dropped I tried to pop it up and tried the volley technique.

"I do it a lot in practice — it is not something that just happens — but they don't always fly in like that. I think that was probably the best one to be honest."

The stunning strike has propelled Crouch back into the media spotlight, even leading to some suggestions that the 31-year-old is deserving of an England recall. Now the Potters ace is dreaming of pulling on a Three Lions jersey again this summer ahead of Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

"I knew right from the start when I signed for Stoke that, if I was playing well and scoring goals, I would have a chance of being involved in the England set-up," he continued. "There is a huge competition in the summer. I have been fortunate enough to play in two World Cups and have 42 caps for my country. I know if I work hard and play well I'll get a chance and hopefully grab it with both hands."

Crouch has not featured for England since November 2010 — despite scoring in his last outing against France – and boasts an impressive international record of 22 goals in just 42 appearances.

Now, with another (unofficial) accolade to his name, the former Tottenham and Liverpool frontman seems well positioned in his fight for a place on the plane.

Crouch's goal was very special indeed. It combined the power of Alan Shearer's thunderbolt against Everton circa 2002, the precision of Tony Yeboah against Liverpool in '95, the vision and craftsmanship of Thierry Henry against Manchester United in 2000, and the technique of last season's scintillating Gareth Bale strike, this time against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Add to that, the fact it was scored against one of the best opposing goalkeepers in the world, and Saturday's effort is right up there with the greatest volleys ever to grace the Premier League. GiveMeFootball reflects…

5. Tony Yeboah: LEEDS UNITED v Liverpool (September 1995)

The Ghanaian striker met Rod Wallace's header with a ferocious right-foot shot that crashed past a helpless David James in the Liverpool goal.

Click here to watch Yeboah's goal!

4. Alan Shearer: NEWCASTLE v Everton (December 2002)

The Premier League's all-time leading goalscorer netted one of his most memorable goals when he met Shola Ameobi's knock down 22 yards from goal before unleashing a venomous strike that the Everton stopper was perilous to prevent.

Click here to watch Shearer's goal!

3. Gareth Bale: Stoke City v TOTTENHAM (August 2010)

The Welsh wing wizard let Aaron Lennon's cross come over his shoulder before blindly connecting with the ball to release a pinpoint volley that sailed past Thomas Sorensen into the far top corner.

Click here to watch Bale's goal!

2. Thierry Henry: ARSENAL v Manchester United (September 2000)

The Frenchman received the ball on the edge of the area with his back to goal, flicked it up, swiveled, and smashed his shot into the far top corner past an onlooking Fabian Barthez.

Click here to watch Henry's goal!

1. Peter Crouch: STOKE v Manchester City (March 2012)

A hopeful pump upfield by Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was met by the head of Crouch before being nodded back into the beanpole striker's path following a return header from Jermaine Pennant.

Shaping his body like Marco van Basten, what happened next will go down in footballing history. You have to see it to believe it.

Click here to watch Crouch's goal!

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Stoke City
Premier League
Peter Crouch

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