Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Made in Italy - another brief update

You are unlikely to see this goal included in any compilation of the most spectacular, or even the "best", goals of the European season. But it is the sort that I never get tired of watching.

Many of the great players had their signature moves. There's the "Cruyff turn", the "Blanco hop", the "Matthews swerve". Michael Laudrup was a genius at transferring the ball quickly from one foot to the other in order to shimmy past a defender, one of the most recognisable signature tricks of recent times.

What I used to particularly admire about the incomparable Roberto Baggio was his uncanny ability to turn a defender, bring the ball crisply under control and position himself perfectly for a shot, all in the one touch. In scoring the above goal against Bologna, Alex del Piero could not have emulated his compatriot, with whom he shares much in common, any better. And the finish was immaculate.

Like Baggio, del Piero still oozes class, even in his mid-thirties.

As a lifelong Juve supporter, I'm really enjoying watching Alex Del Piero these days. He is one of the all time great legends of the club (especially for sticking around when they were dropped into Serie B).

What I'm really liking is the freedom that he's played with every since winning WC06. It seems to have been his redemption after Euro 2000 and WC04 and he is now playing with the freedom and joy of a player that has done it all and now really wants to enjoy his football. It is that "joi d'vivre" that is coming out in his play these days that leads to the types of goals that you have highlighted here.
Sorry this goal only involves a modicum of skill unlike the other you cite.

Any decent striker should be able to do this.

I could and I was a fullback!
...Any decent striker should be able to do this.

I could and I was a fullback!...

At a training kickaround, maybe.

In a crucial Serie A match at the Delle Alpi, in front of thousands of fans?

That's where the class comes in.
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