Ricardo Fernandes hasn’t had many moments like this. He probably won’t have many more.
The 34-year-old career journeyman scored a goal Monday using the fabled “scorpion kick.” It stands as a genuine contender for FIFA’s Puskas Award, which is awarded to the player judged to have scored the best goal in a given calendar year.
Forget the fact that it happened in the oft-ignored Cypriot league. His piece of magic would stand out anywhere — from anonymous pickup games on dirt or concrete surfaces to the UEFA Champions League’s velvet grass fields.
The Portuguese midfielder, who plays for Doxa Katokopias, scored on the stroke of halftime against Alki Larnaca. A teammate dribbled down the right and sent a cross into the area. The delivery was just behind Fernandes, who was about 15 yards from goal, but he reacted quickly, flicked his heel and made perfect contact with the cross. The surprising shot floated just inside the far post, giving the goalkeeper little chance to stop it. Fernandes seemed shocked that he scored.
Fans of Sporting CP (Lisbon) and FC Porto must be asking the age-old question: “why can’t we get player like that?” Well, you had him. Fernandes had stints at both Portuguese clubs before taking his talents to Ukraine, Israel and Cyprus.
Careers aren’t made by flashes of genius, nor are they defined by them. But Fernandes used one to step into the limelight … if only for a few days.
Watch Fernandes’ scorpion-kick goal in the video below.