Few sights strike fear into a defender like that of Cristiano Ronaldo bearing down on them with his shoulders squared to the frame of the goal. Ronaldo combines speed and strength with a devastating directness to make him one of the most fearsome attackers in all of soccer.
And, now, he has let us all know that can also score with his back to the goal. In Real Madrid's La Liga match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, Ronaldo scored the game-winner with a unexpected backheel that caught defenders and the opposing goalkeeper by surprise.
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"A backheel is always different. It was a great goal but I'm not sure if it was the best of my career -- I have to see it again on TV," Ronaldo said after the match. "The most important thing is the victory and the points."
Those points in the standings are so precious because Madrid is looking to hold off rival Barcelona in the standings. With his team also in need of a match-winning strike, Lionel Messi authored another superlative goal on Sunday. With Barcelona level with Atletico Madrid, 1-1, in the 81st minute, Messi struck a brilliant free kick -- while Atletico players were still hastily assembling a defensive wall -- that found the far, upper corner of the net. The Catalans would hold on to win 2-1.