APOEL FC – April 2012
The power and precision that Ronaldo brings to free-kick situations can be a nightmare for even the best defensive approach. But his creativity and accuracy can add a dimension that can be impossible to prepare for.
The 2011-12 campaign matched Los Blancos against the unlikeliest of sides in the quarter-final round. Cypriot club APOEL FC made a remarkable run, but were eliminated 8-2 on aggregate by Real Madrid.
In the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo’s free-kick was nothing short of genius.
Only a few yards from the penalty area on the left side of the pitch, Real Madrid and manager Jose Mourinho had a myriad of options to choose from going at goal. The ball could be played centrally, or they have the space to go directly at the net.
APOEL utilise a two-man wall and position the goalkeeper far to his left, inviting Ronaldo to try a near-post effort that may not be able to angle down in time.
Instead Ronaldo has the sheer audacity and unmitigated gall to go the opposite way, and beats the goalkeeper with a curling effort that strikes the post on the way into the net.
Something quite special indeed.