Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a lot of goals in his career—well over 600, in fact—but perhaps none as special as the bicycle kick in Real Madrid's Champions League quarter-final match against Juventus last night.
In what will go down as one of the competition's all-time great moments, the 33-year-old defied gravity to throw himself into the air and smash an acrobatic effort into Gianluigi Buffon's top left-hand corner. Shocked by what they had just seen, the stadium fell silent for a couple of seconds, before both sets of fans—yes, the Juve supporters, too—stood up and applauded.
Even Zinedine Zidane, the Real Madrid manager who knows a thing or two about wonder goals, appeared taken aback.
Zizou wasn't the only one impressed by what he had just seen. Ronaldo was also visibly emotional, telling UEFA: "Well, for me it was an unbelievable moment. I have to say thank you a lot–grazie–to all the Juventus supporters. What they did for me was amazing. I'm so happy – thank you. It had never happened to me in my career so far."
The BBC's Pat Nevin echoed the Portugal captain's words, saying: "That is one of the great goals you will see… I was going to say Champions League football, but, basically, football."
Real Madrid would go on to see out the tie 3-0 (Ronaldo also scored the opener), effectively securing their place in the semi-finals of the competition for the eighth year in a row, which would be a new record. By scoring twice, Ronaldo set a new barometer of his own, becoming the first player in Champions League history to score in 10 successive games in a row.
But still, there will only be one thing last night's match will be remembered for — and that was the jaw-dropping strike in the 64th minute. Take a look below at how the rest of the sporting world reacted.
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