Zlatan Ibrahimovic has reminded Cristiano Ronaldo of his 40-yard overhead kick against England in 2012 following the Portuguese’s stupendous goal against Juventus on Tuesday night.
Ronaldo opened the scoring in Turin after just three minutes with a clever flick but it was his second of the evening that sent the footballing world into a frenzy of adulation.
From Dani Carvajal’s outswinging cross, Ronaldo leapt high in the air and connected perfectly with an overhead kick that flew into the bottom corner and left Gianluigi Buffon dead on his feet. The home crowd duly gave him a standing ovation.
But Zlatan, reacting to Ronaldo’s goal, was quick to point out that nothing could usurp the effort against England for Sweden back in 2012.
“It was a nice goal, but he should try it from 40 metres,” he said.
There are parallels that can be drawn with Ronaldo’s goal – most notably Wayne Rooney‘s overhead kick against Manchester City in 2011 – whereas Zlatan’s strike could never be repeated, but this somewhat misses the point.
It wasn’t the technique, the audacity, or the execution of Ronaldo’s goal that made it great; it was the fact that it cemented Real Madrid’s place in the Champions League semi-finals.
Such is Ronaldo’s unyielding capacity for not just great goals but, more importantly, great goals that decide games. Every year, without fail, the 33-year-old supplies the big moment so crucial for any winning team, taking hold of high pressure situations and cutting through them like a hot knife, that textbook celebration of his essentially confirming to the opposition that he, and no-one else, has decided the occasion once again.
Time and time again, he makes the difference. And that, above anything, is why he will be remembered as possibly the greatest of all time.