Anytime you score a goal that draws comparisons to Pelé, you know you've done something right.
Giampaolo Pazzini scored twice Sunday to lead AC Milan to a 2-1 home win over Bologna in Italy's Serie A. Pazzini, a 28-year-old Italian international striker, didn't just produce a match-winning performance, he also produced something Pelé-esque.
It all happened in three tantalizing touches while Milan held a 1-0 in the 82nd minute.
First, Pazzini trapped Kevin-Price Boateng's cross from the right. Then, surrounded by defenders, he flicked the ball up and away from pressure and simultaneously set himself up for a goal-scoring opportunity. Finally, he crushed the ball past Bologna's onrushing keeper and into the net.
(Then, uh, he celebrated with a gesture that probably would have earned him a suspension and fine in America.)
If the goal looked familiar, it should have. Fans with a working knowledge of football history should immediately recall Pelé's famous goal against Sweden in the 1958 World Cup final. If not, 101GreatGoals.com has a side-by-side comparison here (along with another similar goal by Gaizka Mendieta from 1999).
For its combination of jaw-dropping skill and historical merit, Pazzini's goal was an easy choice for our Set Piece Goal of the Weekend—with apologies to Paul Pogba of Juventus, Porto's Alex Sandro and Christian Benteke of Aston Villa. A clip of the goal appears above. Enjoy.
"I’m happy because my performance was decisive," Pazzini said after the match (via ACMilan.com). "I hope I can continue to score big goals and help the team towards important objectives."
Sunday's goals helped Milan move up to sixth in Serie A. With Kaká reportedly nearing a return to Italy (per ESPN FC), could this be the beginning of a Rossoneri rally?