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Cristiano Ronaldo switched up his free-kick technique to end an exceptionally long set-piece drought at club level.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner put the ball into the top corner in the 4-1 Turin derby yesterday after going two years and 42 attempts without finding the net from a free-kick.
On first view it looked like Ronaldo scored the stunner using the knuckleball technique that that was incredibly successful for him back in the day, but a closer look and you see the Portuguese superstar struck the ball very differently.
Oooh...what a strike! :heart_eyes:- Premier Sports :tv: (@PremierSportsTV) July 4, 2020
A STUNNING free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo in the derby! :raised_hands: pic.twitter.com/cArRjivipS
There was still the usual stance before approached the ball, but plenty of fans noticed that Ronaldo hit it with his in-step and there was minimal spin and movement on the ball.
I'm so happy to see Ronaldo FINALLY not try to hit a knuckleball free kick, he just needs to hit the ball from the side of his foot way more often pic.twitter.com/lj58gofFIM- dedo (@dedophilia) July 4, 2020
This is the technique I always tell ronaldo about. The spain technique, sevilla, sporting. Forget the knuckleball style, you're getting old mate. https://t.co/t1EPGTt8Cw- King (@adedeji_shegzy) July 4, 2020
UNREAL day when Ronaldo finally gives up the knuckleball, it's so obvious he's still the best freekick taker itw when he curls- :cactus::flag_et: (@Dag7ii) July 5, 2020
Ronaldo could've been such a great freekick taker had he not had a toxic obsession with the knuckleball technique.- AB (@Buddhweiser) July 4, 2020
When Ronaldo uses that technique, he scores more often. Should stop using the knuckleball unless it's long distance- S (@GolazoCristiano) July 4, 2020
Ronaldo should always curl his freekicks. 3/3 in his career VS Sporting, Spain, and now Torino. It's time to ditch the knuckleball freekick technique boss @cristiano- El Bićho (@Ronaldology2) July 4, 2020
I don't ever wanna see Ronaldo attempt the knuckleball technique ever again. This one is way better! https://t.co/RvehYvy6L9- Lesilo Rula (@kay_mahapa) July 4, 2020
Instead of the serious power and dip, it was all about the controlled accuracy that beat Salvatore Sirigu in the Torino goal as the Italian struggled to get anywhere near it.
It was very similar to the stunning equalising free-kick he curled in past David De Gea at the 2018 World Cup, with the same technique bringing the same result.
Juventus will be losing dead-ball expert Miralem Pjanic to Barcelona in summer and though Paulo Dybala is also pretty handy, Ronaldo should have plenty of opportunities to show why just why he's scored 55 free-kicks - which is more than any other player still playing.
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