New York City midfielder Andrea Pirlo described team-mate David Villa’s wondergoal against Philadelphia Union as one of the best he has ever seen.
Spain’s record goalscorer lobbed goalkeeper Andre Blake from more than 50 yards out in the 90th minute of the match at Talen Energy Stadium to secure a 2-0 win for the visitors.
The effort – an exquisite strike from a bouncing ball that looped high over Blake and into the net – was similar to one that Villa attempted against the same opponents last season, only to see the ball hit the crossbar.
Italy and Juventus great Pirlo admitted afterwards that he has not witnessed many better efforts in a playing career spanning 22 years.
“It is one of the best goals that I have ever seen in my career,” he said to the club’s official website. “When David scored one goal like that, it’s incredible, because now it is the best in the history of the club.”
50 yards out. FIFTY.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 15, 2017
Villa himself claimed that he attempted the strike largely because fatigue was beginning to settle in at the end of a closely-fought encounter.
“I was a little bit tired from running so I just tried it and it went in,” said the 35-year-old.
“It was one of the more difficult in my career, for sure! The last game against Philly I tried from 50 yards and put the ball on the crossbar.
“We are happy because the moment of the goal was good for the team. We wanted to win the game, we were 1-0, but in some situations the other team can score, and with this goal, the game was won.”
Head coach Patrick Vieira felt the strike was all-the-more remarkable given that Villa was tired.
Are you not entertained!? pic.twitter.com/m0M5NbrQVN
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) April 15, 2017
“When I realised that the ball was in the back of the net, it was fantastic,” said the former France international. “It was a good finish, and I think it takes a special player to score a special goal.
“If you look at the period of the game where everyone is tired and has heavy legs, and to have the eye to see the goal and to execute the technical side of the volley was fantastic, and it’s good because that second goal was very important.
“Of course it was one of the best goals I have ever seen.”
The win saw New York climb back to the top of the Eastern Conference table, level with Columbus Crew on 10 points.
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