Cristiano Ronaldo scored arguably one of the best goals of all time on Tuesday night – but Zinedine Zidane insists it doesn’t beat HIS effort in the 2002 Champions League final.
Ronaldo crashed home a stunning overhead kick 64 minutes into Real Madrid’s 3-0 demolition of Juventus.
The Portugal superstar appeared to have shocked himself after seeing the ball nestle in the net behind goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Zidane was also in awe of the effort.
Ronaldo’s strike was immediately likened to Zidane’s own wonder goal from 16 years earlier – a left-footed volley in Real Madrid’s 2002 Champions League final victory over Bayer Leverkusen. But the manager insists his goal was better.
“Oh mine! Definitely mine,” Zidane said when asked to find a winner between the two.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is different. He’s a different player to everyone else and he always has this desire to do something extraordinary in the Champions League, he never rests on his laurels.
“His overhead kick was remarkable, yet he missed two much easier chances. That’s football.” Ronaldo also drew praise from beaten goalkeeper Buffon, who could do nothing to prevent the ball flying into his bottom-left hand corner.
“Ronaldo is an extraordinary champion, together with Lionel Messi he is the only one that punctuates his team’s most important victories, and is to be compared to Maradona and Pele,” the veteran Italian said. “We were playing against incredible champions.
“There is great regret and it will not be possible to go forward in this event, for me it is a great regret but against certain opponents it takes a clear examination: they are objectively stronger.”
Cristiano Ronaldo got a standing ovation from the usually-partizan Juventus crowd following his strike. But not everyone was there to lavish praise on the forward, as his team-mate Sergio Ramos joked: ”He is in a terrible state.
“He benefits us and I hope he stays that way all season. His goal is striking, but we value the collective work.”
The 3-0 win for Real effectively ends Juve’s Champions League dreams for yet another season. Discussing the match, which saw Ronaldo open the scoring after just three minutes and set up Marcelo for the third goal, Juve manager Max Allegri admitted the tie was over.
“There is absolutely nothing to blame the boys for. We faced an extraordinary team with probably the best player in the world. Now we raise our heads, we think about the future and the league.
“For the first hour we also made a good game. But everything happened against us. They are really devastating, otherwise they would not have won so much in the last few years. Now it’s almost impossible.”