Zinedine Zidane rated his iconic goal in the 2002 Champions League final ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s wonder strike on Tuesday, though the Real Madrid head coach lauded the Portuguese’s effort as one of the most beautiful in history.
Ronaldo scored with a stunning overhead kick in Madrid’s 3-0 win over 10-man Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
After opening the scoring inside three minutes in Turin, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo produced a moment of magic to leave Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon motionless as the home fans applauded the 64th-minute goal.
Zidane, whose strike for Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen in Glasgow 16 years ago is widely considered as one the finest in Champions League history, reacted in amazement as the two-time reigning champions put one foot in the semi-finals.
Ronaldo has given us an early contender for #UCL Goal of the Week
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 3, 2018
Asked about comparisons with the two goals, Zidane said: “You can compare them but mine was more beautiful. This one is fresher in the mind and so is more significant.
“That’s what Cristiano Ronaldo is all about. He does things that only he can do. Buffon was right, you have to tip your hat to these players.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 3, 2018
Reflecting on Ronaldo’s remarkable effort, Zidane added: “It’s one of the most beautiful goals in the history of football.
“I’m Real Madrid coach but I’m also a football fan. When I see something like that… it’s only natural to put your hands on your head.
“I’m thrilled for him. He’s a unique player because he’s capable of these kinds of things.
“I’m happy for Cristiano Ronaldo and we’re happy to have him in our team. It was a spectacular piece of skill.
“The home fans applauding Cristiano at the Juventus Stadium is a big gesture. They were behind and they kept cheering their team on. This kind of thing doesn’t happen everywhere.”
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