Stoke striker Peter Crouch joy at 'best' career goal

Stoke striker Peter Crouch says his stunning volley in Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Manchester City is the greatest goal of his career to date.

The 31-year-old took one touch before beating Joe Hart with an amazing effort from distance to open the scoring.

"I think it was probably my best one," Crouch told BBC Sport.

"When the ball dropped, I tried to pop it up and try a volley technique. I do it a lot and practice it, though they don't always fly in like that!"

It was one of the finest strikes this season and may enhance the Crouch's hopes of returning to the England squad for Euro 2012.

He flicked on Asmir Begovic's goal-kick to Jermaine Pennant, who headed it back towards his team-mate.

Positioned in the right-hand channel around 25 yards from goal, the 6ft 7ins forward applied a perfect piece of control.

The ball had still not touched the ground since leaving Begovic's boot when he lashed it high across Hart and into the far corner.

"Every day in training I practice volleying," Crouch added of his 12th Stoke goal. "It's something I've always enjoyed doing since I was a kid.

"If I'm scoring goals, and I'm doing well, then I've got a chance of being involved in the England set-up.

"There's a huge competition in the summer. I've been lucky enough to play in two World Cups and I know if I'm playing well and working hard for Stoke, I'll get a chance and hopefully grab it with both hands."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis signed Crouch from Tottenham for a club-record £12m just before last summer's transfer window closed.

"Crouchy has been fantastic since he joined this football club," said Pulis. "Technically he's a very good player.

"He works within our system. He's made for us. I was so pleased he scored such a wonderful goal."

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