Cristiano Ronaldo: Man Utd v Porto 2009
Words From Graham Ruthven.
I was never really one for 'Tiki-Taka.' Sure, I could admire the discipline and technical ability required to weave such intricate webs of passing across a football pitch, but for me the philosophy robbed football of the drama, of the blink-and-you'll-miss-it immediacy that makes the sport so compelling. It's perhaps for this reason that Cristiano Ronaldo's stunner against Porto for Manchester United back in 2009 stands out in my memory of all the great goals I've seen. It was at this moment that Pep Guardiola's great Barcelona side were starting to set the zeitgeist, and yet Ronaldo, by turning and thwacking a drive from 40 yards into the top corner burst right through that. It was the very definition of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, in that the camera very nearly missed Ronaldo getting the shot off in the first place.
Nobody expected him to shoot from that far out, after all. It was only after the ball left the Portuguese's foot, heading for the porto goal like a tomahawk, that we were given a full view of the situation. Of course, as we all know Guardiola's Barcelona would go on to beat Man Utd in the Champions League Final that season, establishing a new world order in the game. For the next few years, the sport would be defined by passing, movement and the thinking man. But Ronaldo's goal momentarily disrupted this, and all with a sense of primal angst. It was a stunning goal, and yet one so unrefined it stays with me.
Graham Ruthven writes a football for football folk. Follow his work here: twitter.com/grahamruthven
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