Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane’s reaction said it all as Ronaldo stunned with a classic bicycle kick in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League clash at Juventus.
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.”