#OTD in 2011: Dejan Stankovic scores one of the best-ever Champions League goals
At the peak of his career, Dejan Stankovic, you could argue, was of the more underrated and well-rounded midfielders of his generation.
The 37-year-old, who began his career with native club Red Star Belgrade before making the jump to Serie A and Lazio, went on to star for Inter Milan and generated a unique influence and presence on the pitch. His ability to pick a pass, win aerial battles and deputize in multiple positions in the middle third made him a valuable asset to the Nerazzurri.
But above all else, Stankovic possessed a near unparalleled expertise in jaw-dropping strikes from just about anywhere on the field. You name it, and he could most likely pull it off.
Take his unforgettable missile against Schalke, for instance.
Just 17 seconds into their Champions League quarterfinal first-leg meeting back in 2011, Esteban Cambiasso (man, that makes you feel old, doesn’t it?) lofted a ball in behind the Schalke back line for a marauding Diego Milito (he’s now plying his trade for Racing Club in Argentina). Manuel Neuer, back when ‘Neuering’ was hardly a thing, sprung off his line to head the ball clear.
The ball went as far as Stankovic, who, well, we’ll just let you soak this in.
25 seconds in. That is what we call otherworldly.
Despite the early goal, holders Inter would go on to fall, 5-2, before losing again in Gelsenkirchen, 2-1, to crash out of the competition.
Make no mistake, though. Five years later, this wonder goal still lives on.