The best soccer skill off all might just be the nutmeg. There are few things more satisfying than a ball getting poked through a defender’s legs and then watching him scramble as his mark blows past him.
There are two ways to make a nutmeg better, though. First, make it an elastico. Second, have Cristiano Ronaldo do it. Case in point:
Oof. The slow-motion replay of it is just brutal. Espanyol defender David Lopez can only watch the ball go through his legs as he tries not to trip over his own feet. The bit of skill didn’t end up turning into anything as Ronaldo’s pass got cut out, but it was still a bit of beauty, nonetheless.
Ronaldo didn’t manage to get on the score sheet and, although reporters asked manager Zinedine Zidane if he thought the Portuguese superstar had an off night, his coach was pleased with Ronaldo’s performance.
“I think he’s fine, happy. He’s helped us,” Zidane said. “He played well and he ran a lot. I’m not worried, I know that he will make the difference in the key moments.”