Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire, 2011)
Many a great goal has come from a great free-kick: think David Platt vs Belgium, or Roberto Carlos vs France. Then thereÃ¢ÂÂs... forget it, we could be here all day. Fewer classic strikes, however, come from absolutely terrible set-pieces Ã¢ÂÂ but playing for Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire in 2011, Carlos Ruiz did things the hard way.
Having weakly chipped a potentially dangerous free-kick straight onto a defenderÃ¢ÂÂs head, Ruiz chased down the clearance and made amends by flicking the ball on before wellying it over the keeper and in Ã¢ÂÂ with his weaker peg. Ã¢ÂÂIf I sound off-guard,Ã¢ÂÂ laughed one commentator, Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs because it may be the first time IÃ¢ÂÂve seen Ruiz shoot with his left foot!Ã¢ÂÂ
The Guatemalan recalls Ã¢ÂÂ¨to FFT: Ã¢ÂÂI was lucky the ball bounced back to me from the free-kick. My first thought was just to shoot as hard as I could Ã¢ÂÂ I thought if I stopped the Ã¢ÂÂ¨ball first, IÃ¢ÂÂd hesitate too long."
Ã¢ÂÂIt was a golazo in the Ã¢ÂÂ¨truest sense of the term,Ã¢ÂÂ he continues. Ã¢ÂÂIt was impossible for any goalkeeper to save. Honestly, thatÃ¢ÂÂs the type of goal you donÃ¢ÂÂt plan; you Ã¢ÂÂ¨really donÃ¢ÂÂt think about it before shooting. You just attempt the shot and wait Ã¢ÂÂ¨to see what happens.
Ã¢ÂÂI had attempted that shot in practice several times, but you never think you can score a goal like that during a real game. Still, what I enjoy most about football is creating something out of nothing and in this case, I was able to do just that after a bad free-kick.
Ã¢ÂÂSome people have called Ã¢ÂÂ¨it the goal of the decade. For me, itÃ¢ÂÂs one of the best goals Ã¢ÂÂ¨I have ever scored.Ã¢ÂÂ