THERE’S now undeniable proof Cristiano Ronaldo did mean his quite-frankly freakish ‘volleyed’ penalty against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
Plus Manchester United fans get riled up over Paul Pogba’s treatment, Luis Suarez catches up with Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry delivers a brutal message to Neymar.
It’s all in UCL Extra Time!
RONALDO MEANT HIS FREAKISH PENALTY
When Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and volleyed his penalty beyond PSG’s Alphonse Areola, no one knew quite what to think.
CR7 rifled his shot into the back of the net and replays showed he planted his landing foot so hard it made the ball pop up off the spot, allowing the Real Madrid superstar to volley it home with even more power.
First there was disbelief – and rather tongue-in-cheek accusations of ‘black magic’.
WATCH RONALDO’S PENALTY IN THE VIDEO BELOW
Then there were questions over whether or not it is legal – it’s not, the ball must be stationary from a spot kick.
Then there was more disbelief when former teammate Rio Ferdinand claimed Ronaldo had “practised” the technique at Manchester United.
“He used to do that in training, you know,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport after the match.
“He used to mess about in training and do that in training. I’m not sure he meant to do that there, but he did use to do that on training. I swear, crazy.”
It was crazy. But true.
The proof? An extract from Wayne Rooney’s book – ‘Wayne Rooney: My Decade in the Premier League’ – from 2012 said that the Portuguese star perfected the mind bending technique during his time in England.
Rooney wrote: “He’s developed this crazy technique for his free kicks – he hits the ball off the laces of his boot and it swerves and spins and twists in the air so the keeper can’t quite suss which way it’s going to go.
“He scores from so many dead balls that I spend ages watching him practice in training, but I can’t quite work out how he does it.
“He seems to plant his standing foot alongside the ball so hard that it pops up slightly – which means he’s almost striking the ball on the volley. This technique gives him a dip in his shot, but even when I study him – kick after kick after kick – I can’t pull it off when I try the same kick.”
HENRY’S MESSAGE TO NEYMAR
Former Barcelona star Thierry Henry has weighed in on the claim Neymar left the Catalan giants to get out of the shadow of Lionel Messi.
With Neymar now hoping to help PSG overcome a 3-1 deficit against Real Madrid to reach the quarter-finals, the message from Henry will not be to the Brazilian’s liking.
“I don’t know if Neymar left Barcelona to get out of Messi’s shadow,” Henry told Spanish outlet Marca.
“What is true is that all players are in Messi’s shadow, and if Neymar doesn’t want to be, he should change sport.”
PAPER PLANES IN SPAIN
When big clubs travel to Australia for pre-season friendlies, there is one thing that is a constant – those pesky paper planes.
Diehard football fans lose their minds at ‘theatre goers’ who fold up their tickets in an attempt to fly them onto the field.
It turns out it’s not a uniquely Aussie pass time at the football.
Even in a massive Champions League round of 16 tie, Sevilla fans had plenty of fun with their paper planes. Some even went past the 18 yard box!
FANS REACT TO POG-BENCHED
Paul Pogba was bench and some sections of the Manchester United fan base were not happy!
SUAREZ AND CARRA REUNITED
Finally, Jamie Carragher has caught up with Luis Suarez after Barcelona’s UCL draw in London against Chelsea.
With Liverpool currently possessing the most potent front three in Europe – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane – Carra seems to think the club missed a trick by not pairing him up top with Suarez.