Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted his stunning bicycle kick in Real Madrid’s win over Juventus on Tuesday was probably the best goal of his whole career.
Ronaldo earned a standing ovation even from the home fans at the Juventus Stadium after his acrobatic volley beat Gianluigi Buffon in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
It was one of two Ronaldo goals on the night as Real cruised to a 3-0 victory, which all-but sealed their place in the last four.
Ronaldo has scored some sensational goals in his career. There were the thundering long-range strikes for Manchester United against Porto and Portsmouth, and the backheels against Valencia, for Real, and Hungary, for Portugal.
There were also the goals he delivered when it mattered most, for Portugal in the World Cup 2014 play-off against Sweden, and a hat-trick for Real in last season’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid.
But the 33-year-old believes his latest goal in Turin may have trumped them all.
“This was spectacular, I jumped very high, so obviously it’s a goal that stays in the memory and is surely my best goal,” Ronaldo told Real Madrid TV.
“I’ve been looking for it for a long time but they are part of the game. It just came into my head to do it and I caught the ball well.
“Other times it has gone wrong, but you have to always try. I tried and scored a goal.”
Ronaldo had already converted Isco’s cross to open the scoring and Marcelo wrapped up the win late on after Juventus striker Paulo Dybala had been sent off.
There was no doubting, however, the moment for which the match will always be remembered, by Juventus fans too, who rose to their feet to salute the celebrating Portuguese.
“It was one of the most beautiful moments of this night, a stadium here in Juve where great players have played, applauding is a top moment,” Ronaldo said.
“I am very happy and very excited. It was always a club that I liked as a child and when the people applaud, it stays in your heart. For this I thank all the Italian fans, thank you.”