“Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA, he was up in the air for an hour and a half.”
That was Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri’s assessment of Cristiano Ronaldo’s gravity defying leap to score in Juventus’ 2-1 win against his side on Wednesday night.
The 34-year-old Portuguese produced a leap of 71cm as he met Alex Sandro’s cross at the back post at a height of 8.39ft (2.56m) before heading home – his waist at the height of the defender’s head.
It was the sort of skill seen by the likes of LeBron James and James Harden in the NBA.
Speaking after the game Ronaldo, who has scored 12 goals this season, said: “The goal was nice, but I am especially happy to have helped the team to get the three points.”
But he later compared the jump to Chicago Bull’s legend Michael Jordan, tweeting: “CR7 AIR JORDAN” with an airplane emoji.
“Ronaldo remained in the air for an infinite time,” added Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.
The match also saw Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon draw level with Paolo Maldini in the all-time Serie A appearances chart with his 647th game in Italy’s top flight.