Two young boys who survived last month’s earthquake in Albania got the once-in-a-lifeti
Few things in life are certain other than death, taxes, and Sergio Ramos getting sent off in El Clasico (it’s happened five times).
For Jose Mourinho, praise doesn’t get much higher.
“Sonaldo. Sonaldo Nazario,” said the Tottenham manager when asked for his reaction to Son Heung-min’s extraordinary 70-metre solo run and finish in the 5-0 win over Burnley.
It was a play on Ronaldo Nazario, the original and, for Mourinho at least, best Ronaldo.
Mourinho was a member of Sir Bobby Robson’s backroom staff during the Brazilian’s solitary, but stellar, season at the Nou Camp.
Only 20, Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 49 games during the 1996-97 campaign, frequently leaving defenders for dead on swerving, turbo-charged stampedes
It was a timely moment of brilliance, ahead of making even more history. On the night before Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d’Or, the Barcelona great hit an 86th-minute winner for his team against Atletico Madrid, to effectively prove why he undeniably deserved to have won this individual award.
It was that good. It may go that far to again deciding the Spanish title. It is was also Messi distilled, right before a crowning career achievement.
There was first of all that illustration of the fundamental of his game, that initially so elevated him as a youth. There was the perfect ball control at pace, that saw him suddenly just cut through a Diego Simeone defence after Barca had for the most part looked quite impotent.
There was then that touch of team play, that so sets him apart among those capable of individual brilliance, as he’s always willing to play the simple pass if it’s the best option. That simple pass was in this case to Luis Suarez, who immediately returned it, for Messi to drive into the bottom corner with the most precise and powerful of finishes.
What really elevates that is that it’s the type of strike we’ve seen so many times before, that has become one of the Argentine’s array of signature finishes… and yet there’s virtually nothing you can do about it.