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Juventus Fans Rise To Applaud Cristiano Ronaldo's Bicycle Kick

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane's reaction said it all. Hand to his head, a look of disbelief on his face at what he had just seen, he turned and bellowed his approval. As a player, the Frenchman scored plenty of stunning goals himself in Turin - but what he had just witnessed from Cristiano Ronaldo was special. Ronaldo's second goal for the Spanish giants in their 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory at Juventus was one of the great strikes - the 33-year-old Portuguese rising almost unnaturally high before acrobatically firing the ball into the corner of the net with an incredible bicycle kick.

 

Seconds after the ball hit the net, the Juve fans followed Zidane's lead, rising to applaud the man who has, in all likelihood, ended their interest in the Champions League for this season. BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin, who was at the game, was equally stunned. "When the ball comes across to him you think: 'Oh, you're not going to try an overhead kick.' And then, bang! Oh wow! Just see it, watch it," said the former Scotland winger.

 

"It is unnatural. People are talking about how Ronaldo is getting a bit older now - but there is nothing wrong with that body if he can do that sort of thing. The timing of it is extraordinary, the imagination to do it is extraordinary. A lot of the Juventus fans stayed behind to applaud Ronaldo. To turn around this coliseum to his side - wow. Call it genius if you like. It is one of the great goals you will see in football. Obviously people are talking about the second goal, it was amazing, probably the best of my career," Ronaldo said after the game. "It was spectacular. I jumped very high and it's a goal that will live long in the memory. I've been looking to do it for a while, but it depends on the circumstances of the game. It just came to me to give it a go, you always have to try it. I tried it today and it came off".

 

Speaking about receiving a standing ovation, he added: "It was one of the most poignant moments of the night. To receive applause from a stadium like this, which has been graced by great players, is a unique experience. "When I was a kid, I liked Juventus and the fact that their fans have clapped me will stay with me. It is one of those ones where you just say: 'Oh, you're just egging it up a bit, you're exaggerating for pure commentary purposes,'" said Nevin.

 

"No, absolutely no. That is one of the great goals you will see… I was going to say Champions League football, but, basically, football. Talking about how high his foot is, when he goes for the kick there Mattia de Sciglio is jumping up to head the ball and Ronaldo's foot is above his head. It has to be seven and a half feet. I would love to be able to tell you how to score a goal like that, but I never have. But if you don't practise that and you try it in a game you can break your back. You need technique to get up and hit it - but you need to be able to land properly as well. He has all this in his mind and computes it in a millisecond. It is special. He knows how to time his form, usually when Real are looking to win something, like the Champions League. He also wants to win that Ballon d'Or. Normal humans don't think along those lines on a football pitch, they think about how to win a game. But he is so far ahead."

 

BBC World Service's John Bennett said: "I don't think he has scored a better goal than that. I remember the Porto one [for Manchester United in 2009]. It is how you judge great goals. The technique for that overhead kick makes it the greatest goal Ronaldo has ever scored." 

Photo Credit: 
bbc.com

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