Best World Football Moments of the Weekend
This instalment of Best World Football Moments of the Weekend is more eclectic than usual.
We’ve got five countries on two continents that we’ll visit and our highlights include goals, back-heel passes, saves and out-of-control fans invading the pitch and forcing the abandonment of a high-profile derby.
Naturally, one or two moments from the weekend’s football will have caught your eye as well, and you’re welcome to describe them (and link to them) in the forum below.
Let’s get to it.
Ronaldinho, Atletico Mineiro
Ronaldinho spent much of last week in the news for an oral procedure that adjusted his famous, if imperfect smile, but he earned a headline or two from his performance at the weekend as well.
In a Brasileiro match at home to Vasco da Gama, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year sent teammate Fernando through to score after just two minutes when he played an exceptional pass with an extraordinary back heel.
Atletico Mineiro went on to win the match 2-1 and are now three points clear of the relegation places after 18 matches.
Danilo Lerda & Jorge Rodriguez, Penarol
Danilo Lerdo played the best goal-kick of the weekend when his hoof three minutes after the restart led directly to Jorge Rodriguez’ opener for Penarol in Saturday’s Uruguayan Apertura match against Danubio.
Lerdo’s arching drive was knocked down for Antonio Pacheco and the Penarol midfielder’s cross was volleyed expertly into the back of the net by Rodriguez.
Unfortunately for Penarol, things went mostly downhill from there. Rodriguez managed to get himself sent off in the 66th minute for a foul on Hugo Soria and a pair of Danubio goals turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win at the final whistle.
Nestor Camacho, Deportivo Cali
Deportivo Cali are two points off the top of Colombia’s Torneo Finalizacion thanks to a convincing 5-0 win over Deportes Quindio on Sunday at the Centenario.
Nestor Camacho scored twice in the route—his first, in the 34th minute, was the result of one of the better pieces of buildup play in world football over the weekend.
Sergio Romero deserves a nod for his hand in the goal. Cali’s No. 11 dragged the Quindio left-back all the way to the goal line before cutting an exquisite reverse back into the area for Camacho—who still had a lot of work to do—to head inside the far post.
One of world football’s most virulent derbies ended...well, it didn’t end on Sunday as a fan invasion of the Istanbul pitch caused the referee to abandon the match in second-half injury time.
Galatasaray were 2-1 up and likely headed for the three points when their midfielder Felipe Melo was sent off—an incident that provided the spark for the powder keg for this simmering rivalry.
According to a BBC report, Besiktas fans had already been provoking the police when the invasion began and until a decision is handed down regarding what happened, it is Besiktas that remain atop the Turkish Super Lig table with 12 points from four matches.
Pepe Reina, Napoli
AC Milan lost for the second time in four matches on Sunday and the defeat to Napoli included something that had never happened in football before: Mario Balotelli missing a penalty.
The incident occurred just after the hour-mark at the San Siro following Raul Albiol’s foul on Balotelli inside the area.
But despite converting each of his previous 26 spot-kicks, the Italy international was this time denied by Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who guessed correctly and dove to his right to prevent the goal.
On Monday, Balotelli was handed a three-match ban for insulting the referee at the final whistle.
Reina, meanwhile, backstopped his side to a fourth win from four rounds and a share of first place in Serie A.