Cristiano Ronaldo could not contain his emotions after a free-kick against Torino on Saturday.
The Juventus superstar had not scored a free-kick in club football for almost three years, a result of a club World Cup final with Real Madrid in December 2017.
But after a long dry spell, during which Portugal “only” made conversions against Spain and Switzerland, Ronaldo was back on track with a belt during the Derby della Mole.
The old lady led 2-1 thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado – Turin’s consolation came from Andrea Belotti – when Ronaldo scored the long-range shot.
One might have thought that Dybala would have taken the trouble, considering Ronaldo had gone more than 40 attempts without scoring, but the little Argentinian stepped aside happily.
Ronaldo breaks his Juventus duck
It proved to be a wise decision as Ronaldo cushioned his efforts beautifully over the wall, under the crossbar and out of reach of Salvatore Sirigu in the upper left corner.
Although it may have seemed at first that Ronaldo had remained true to his legendary ankle-ball technique, the replay showed that the 35-year-old had indeed changed things.
Instead of trying to provoke wild turns and movements on the ball with the “ankle” of his foot, the Portuguese seemed to rely on his stride to create a more controlled trajectory.
Ronaldo switched his technique
For this reason, although the ball did not seem to fly towards Sirigu with as much force as it could have done, the shape and accuracy of the shot ensured that it could not be saved.
Deep and lo and behold, it wasn’t quite the technique we see from his rival Lionel Messi, as Ronaldo’s subdued effort was more about placement than whipping him with extreme cornering.
You might recognise this technique from his legendary free-kick against Spain, which is all the more astonishing that Ronaldo hardly used it during his time in Turin.