Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cristiano Eleison

A month ago, I opined about a great goal scored by soccer star Ronaldinho, and in passing, noted that AC Milan and Brazil international Kak√° was widely considered the world's best current player, much to the consternation of Manchester United and Portgual fans who no doubt favor superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mea culpa.

Last weekend, Ronaldo presented a pretty compelling case for himself as king of the pitch, turning in as fine a performance as I've ever seen by a footballer in a 4-0 United victory over Aston Villa in a Premier League matchup.

He opened the match's scoring with an amazingly creative goal, flicking in an improbable side/backheel through a thicket of defenders and past a disbelieving goaltender helpless to stop it.

On United's second goal, seen at 00:40 of this clip, Ronaldo showed the fundmentals and passing accuracy of the finest crossers of the ball, delivering pinpoint service to an onrushing Carlos Tevez for a header to put Man U. up 2-0.

The third goal, captured at 01:23 of this clip and put deftly into the back of the net by Wayne Rooney, resulted from a magical no-look backheel pass by Ronaldo that seemed not of the soccer field but out of the playbook of basketball stars Magic Johnson or Steve Nash. Amazing stuff.

And, finally, United's fourth, viewable at 02:05 of this clip, was also sent home by Rooney after another brilliant lead pass by Ronaldo.

If that dominating performance weren't enough, Ronaldo broke hearts all over the Eternal City earlier today with a stunningly powerful header to open the scoring in Manchester United's European Champions League victory in the first leg of their quarterfinal match versus AS Roma.

Cristiano, have mercy on these mere mortals.

UPDATE, 4/10:
Crap, all the links are dead, as they were removed from YouTube. Trust me. Ronaldo was spectacular.

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