06:41 GMT +320 January 2020
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    Portuguese striker and forward for Serie A club Juventus Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring prowess set the internet on fire after he scored an amazing header against Sampdoria on 18 December.

    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.

    ​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.”

    ​Online fans chimed in:

    ​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”.

    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.

    December 2, 2019  Barcelona's Lionel Messi with his Ballon d'Or trophies
    © REUTERS / CHRISTIAN HARTMANN
    December 2, 2019 Barcelona's Lionel Messi with his Ballon d'Or trophies

    The social media “reach” of the players astounding, too, as their combined Facebook numbers exceed 200 million, while Instagram followers are even higher.

     

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    Tags:
    Ballon d'Or, Ballon d'Or, Serie A, Juventus, FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
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