For Jose Mourinho, praise doesn’t get much higher.
“Sonaldo. Sonaldo Nazario,” said the Tottenham manager when asked for his reaction to Son Heung-min’s extraordinary 70-metre solo run and finish in the 5-0 win over Burnley.
It was a play on Ronaldo Nazario, the original and, for Mourinho at least, best Ronaldo.
Mourinho was a member of Sir Bobby Robson’s backroom staff during the Brazilian’s solitary, but stellar, season at the Nou Camp.
Only 20, Ronaldo scored 47 goals in 49 games during the 1996-97 campaign, frequently leaving defenders for dead on swerving, turbo-charged stampedes towards goal.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have had longer careers. They have remained at the top every day for 15 years,” said Mourinho in October.
“However, if we are talking strictly about talent and skill, nobody surpasses Ronaldo.”
And Son’s goal against the Clarets was just as good as anything on the Brazilian’s showreel.
In the 31st minute, the South Korean picked the ball up on the edge of his own box after a Burnley free-kick was cleared. Twelve seconds and 12 touches later he had shredded the visiting defence and slotted past Nick Pope for a goal-of-the-season shortlist certainty.
“I just wanted to keep going,” said Son of his goal. “It was a long run and was a lot of time to think. But it is a special goal of course.”
“Sonny stole the show today,” said his captain Harry Kane.
“It was an unbelievable goal, a great counter-attack.”
Former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker, who rarely strayed from the opposition penalty box never mind back into his own half, declared it one of the best goals he had ever seen.
It prompted BBC live text commentator Phil Dawkes to reminisce about AC Milan striker George Weah’s sublime mazy run and finish against Verona in 1996.
Even one of Burnley’s most famous fans had to marvel at Son’s goal.
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