The winner of five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a towering goal on the stroke of half-time on Wednesday night, registering a 2-1 win away at Sampdoria and taking the Italian champions three points clear in Serie A.
Ronaldo has just scored a far post header where his feet were higher than the crossbar....it’s only a slight exaggeration. Ridiculous leap. pic.twitter.com/rRdewWyy1V— Dee Updates (@DeeUpdates_) December 18, 2019
As the ball looked under control for the Sampdoria defenders, Ronaldo, 34, leapt to the back post and jumped nearly the entire height of the defender to send a header towards the top corner.
The goal was Ronaldo’s 10th goal in Serie A this season.
The win takes Juventus to 42 points, above Inter Milan, with the Italian champions moving back to the top of the Serie A table.
The “leaping goal” left online fans “wowified” and gushing over the celebrated striker’s athleticism and prowess.
English former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster Gary Lineker tweeted:
“Ronaldo has just scored a far post header where his feet were higher than the crossbar....it’s only a slight exaggeration. Ridiculous leap.”
Ronaldo has just scored a far post header where his feet were higher than the crossbar....it’s only a slight exaggeration. Ridiculous leap.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 18, 2019
Online fans chimed in:
He is not slowing down, is he?— Matchcentreng (@matchcentreng) December 18, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo scored an incredible 8ft 5in header in Juventus win against Sampdoria.
The portugese jumped high and almost seemed to hang in the air for seconds before blasting a header home from an awkward angle.#Matchcentreng pic.twitter.com/iA8sAgFIu0
Completely suspended in the air with no touch on the defender!!— Duke of Ibadan 🀄️ (@AsiwajuLerry) December 18, 2019
Respect Ronaldo! Respect the GOAT!! pic.twitter.com/ik0cwTbHrF
some people still think Ronaldo is human.... smh— Someone's son😌 (@_oluwatobiiiii) December 18, 2019
He is an alien— Bobby King 😉 (@SirBobbyKing) December 18, 2019
I WILL TELL MY CHILD THIS IS SUPERMAN.— The lyricist (@saaoseun) December 19, 2019
YEAH AND HE DOESN'T WEAR CAPE
I am wowified— Donald Genes ®️ (@TripDarlinq) December 18, 2019
Air Ronaldo 🔥— Habeeb (@el_harbeeb) December 18, 2019
However, fans of Argentine football icon Lionel Messi were not as impressed, with many insisting the forward and captain of Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team was “still the GOAT”.
Ronaldo is very good. actually this a very best goal, I doubt if any one can get if not Ronaldo, but he isn't a goat. Messi is— Black Dude🌍 (@Loddo09) December 18, 2019
Even if he jumps up to the moon Leo Messi is still the GOAT.— Jakarateng (@engmosesotieno) December 19, 2019
Online comments by fans reflect the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry is still going strong.
Argentina's Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, 32, claimed the men's Ballon d'Or award (Golden Ball) for a record sixth time on 2 December, moving one ahead of his long-time competitor Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi is now 32 and Ronaldo 34, but both are still influencing games at the highest level, pushing each other to unprecedented heights of performance.
The social media “reach” of the players astounding, too, as their combined Facebook numbers exceed 200 million, while Instagram followers are even higher.