Cristiano Ronaldo struck a stunning header against Sampdoria that fired Juventus to the top of the Serie A standings with a 2-1 win on Wednesday night.
While the football fans across the globe trained their collective eyes on the La Liga’s marquee El Clasico clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Ronaldo snatched the limelight with his gravity-defying leap.
With Sampdoria equalising through Gianluca Caprar after a sublime Paulo Dybala volley had sent Juventus ahead, it took a moment of pure genius from the Portuguese forward for Maurizio Sarri’s men to regain the lead.
Ronaldo jumped 2.56 metres off the ground, hanged in the air for around 1.5 seconds to meet Alex Sadro’s cross on the stroke of half-time.
The 34-year-old, naturally, was happy with his effort, saying he has recovered from a knee issue and looking forward to winning trophies with Juventus. “I’m really happy with the result… It was a really good goal also because it was the one that won the three points,” said Ronaldo. “Like I said before I’d had pain in my knee for around a month, but now I’m OK and now I want to help Juventus win trophies.”
It was a historic occasion for Juventus custodian Gianluigi Buffon as he equalled Paolo Maldini’s Serie A appearance record of 647 matches. The 41-year-old also broke Alessandro Del Piero’s appearance record for Juventus, going one ahead with 479 matches.
Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri could only admire Ronaldo’s superhuman antics. “Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA; he was up in the air for an hour and a half. There’s nothing you can say about it, you can only congratulate him and move on,” Ranieri said.