- Ricardo Quaresma scores his first FIFA World Cup goal at the age of 34
- Strike came from his trademark shot with the outside of the foot
- Goal now nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award
At the end of the day, it was almost business as usual. Ricardo Quaresma plays a one-two on the right flank with Adrien Silva, cuts inside towards the penalty area and lets fly – obviously with the outside of his foot. The ball takes off and seems to keep picking up speed as it goes through the air. Ali Beiranvand in the Iranian goal launches himself at full stretch, trying to make himself as big as possible in a vain attempt at getting his hand to the ball. But the man from Portugal had placed his shot so perfectly that all the 1.92-metre custodian could eventually do was pick the ball out of his net.
It may have been business as usual, but a cliché like that is doing a disservice to such an incredible strike. And yet Quaresma has forged a reputation for using the outside of his foot, either to set up or to score goals. They even have their own name in his home country – a trivela – and they are now very much the hallmark of the 34-year-old UEFA Champions League winner and two-time Portuguese footballer of the year.
Scoring one of his trademark goals in the autumn of his career on the biggest of stages – the FIFA World Cup™ – will have been a real highlight for Quaresma. Not only was it his first ever World Cup goal, but it also saw him named Budweiser Man of the Match, and now he has been nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award for goal of the season.
What they said
"Yes, this goal was a kind of response. It was a great goal. I was lucky enough to catch the ball exactly in the right spot. People can say what they want, but I’ve still got plenty left in the tank." Ricardo Quaresma