February 14th, 2011
12:28 PM ET

Has Rooney joined the ranks of football's immortals?

Wayne Rooney's super strike against Manchester City could be the turning-point in his career. (AFP/Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney's super strike against Manchester City could be the turning-point in his career. (AFP/Getty Images)

Great footballers are defined by career-changing moments. And great goals can secure them a place in both the history books and the minds and hearts of supporters across the world.

These are moments that carry more importance than just an example of on-pitch technical excellence, they can win titles or turn around a team's fortunes - or a nation's hopes.

If you are a football fan, then I am sure you will have seen or know about the following goals:

The 17-year-old Pele's first goal against Sweden in the 1958 World Cup final, which Brazil went on to win 5-2.

Diego Maradona's stunning second strike against England, which followed his infamous "Hand of God" goal in the same match and helped Argentina win the quarterfinal on the way to victory at the 1986 World Cup.

Zinedine Zidane's volley against Bayer Leverkusen in the final of the 2002 Champions League, which gave Real Madrid a record ninth European crown and completed the French legend's collection of elite titles.

Leo Messi's mesmerizing solo goal against Getafe in the semifinals of the Spanish Cup in 2007, which marked him as Maradona's natural heir.

Undoubtedly some of the greatest ever scored in football history, these goals marked the careers of the above stars. I would even go as far as to say they were goals that immortalized these players.

You can now add to this elite list Wayne Rooney’s incredible bicycle kick that won Saturday’s Manchester derby. Amazing. Outrageous. Fantastic. Every superlative could be used to describe it. I have never been Wayne’s biggest fan, but ladies and gentlemen, this goal was simply sublime. To have the presence of mind to try such an audacious shot and to pull it off to win a derby deserves all the praise in the world.

This is the kind of goal that we all dream about scoring when we were growing up. Unfortunately for us mortals, we would have to wake up and go to school in the morning. But Wayne, he lived the dream and as a result his career and his legacy have now gone to a whole new level.

To get an idea of how good Wayne’s goal is, just think of the stakes. This wasn’t in training, it wasn’t in a friendly, it wasn’t in a game that United were leading four or five-nil. It was in a crucial game for the English title race.

What makes it even more impressive is that Rooney was in a major slump. Ahead of Saturday’s match at Old Trafford, the striker had scored only three goals from open play this season. Many people, including myself, wondered whether he would ever be back to his best. Back to the player who scored 34 goals last season before suffering an ankle injury against Bayern in the Champions League.

Those doubts have now disappeared. I can safely say England’s top player is indeed back and he will surely lead Manchester United to the Premier League title this season.

I can tell you something else. Out of all the people celebrating Rooney’s goal around the world, maybe some of the most excited were his sponsors. Rooney’s moment of magic on Saturday was a marketing man’s dream. Can you imagine what Nike are already planning? This goal can sell anything. Shoes, shirts, caps, socks, pet turtles … whatever they want.

This was more than just a goal, and it was worth more than three points. It was a life-changing moment and the 25-year-old Rooney is perhaps now an immortal in the world of football.

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soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. james

    I am a Rooney fan, and this was the greatest goal I have ever seen. Beats all the others mentioned because of the sheer incredible athleticism of it. But immortal? This happened in a league match. Given, perhaps the most important match of the league season to date. But not in a World Cup or Champions League match. It's a goal that will change Rooney's season and career. It is immortal in the context of the Manchester derby. It will be talked about for generations. But immortal on the world stage? No.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  2. James

    Was it a great goal? Absolutely. Does Rooney now join the league of all-time great footballers? Absolutely not.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  3. GKS

    ................................... or he just got lucky!

    p.s. I am a Man U fan and a Rooney fan as well, but me thinks you may have taken it a little too far. Rooney is essential to the team but it is the likes of Berbatov, Giggs and Nani that have kept Man U where they are right now at the top of the table! One player, one moment, no matter how sublime, does not win a championship!
    I am NOT a Messi fan, (only because he plays for Barcelona and not Man U!) but there is a man producing the goods day in and day out! No comparison at this point!
    So lets just enjoy the goal for what it was, a moments of beautiful football!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  4. Chris

    Are you kidding me CNN?

    Is this journalism?

    The guy has 5 goals this season, just 3 from open play, and now he's a football immortal after 1 lucky goal?

    Hire new sports writers; this section is a disgrace

    February 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  5. Samuel Buxton

    Indeed, Rooney's goal during the Manchester derby deserves a lot of praise and mention. When the odds are stacked, the mouth-gaping goal he scored becomes clearer. Kudos to Rooney...& to ManU.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  6. Steve Skeete

    Who can disagree?

    February 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  7. lanre baruwa

    Well, Rooney's goal was a classic and praise-worthy. It's one of those moments in football matches that's breath-taking. However, I have seen better goals both at the international and club level across Europe over the last 20 years. Hugo Sanchez dished out those kinds of goals regularly for Real Madrid. Gabriel Batistuta, the Argentine goal machine did same regularly in his playing days. Even Diego Forlan. While no one can take away Rooney's craftmanship and athletism, he's miles away from being considered a footballing legend in the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo Lima, or Zinedine Zidane. Not even comparable to Lionel Messi. He'll need to produce such artistry regularly to be considered great.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  8. Deni

    You are kidding right? At what point do you ever mention his epic Cup failures. Both 2006 and 2010 his goofs played large parts in England's inability to move forward. He is just a little dog who loves to chase a ball, but often fails to do anything with it. If his offense was half as good as his white trash defense England would be contenders instead of fodder for bar room jokes. Rooney is a tool. What idiot writes this stuff? Was this the first game you ever watched?

    February 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  9. sumaila marah

    Rooney has been a great player and will remain to be one . Goal s of that nature are scored by legend

    February 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  10. Aziz

    I know, there are a lot more legendary goals. But you can't make a list without mentioning Van Basten's superbe volley in 1988 against Russia in the Finals of EURO 88.

    February 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  11. Adrian

    Surely Pedro you cant be serious, this article really comes from someone that has no insight into footballing history. How is it you can compare Rooney as an immortal based on one goal that is conventionally scored in all parts of the world , particularly in the south american leagues, take time out and stop keeping a myopic view on one league. As a football analyst you should be more knowledgeable. The real immortals score all these type of goals everytime. I'll also like to even mention Berbatov scored a simiar overhead kick this season and in addition to that has been instrumental in getting MANU where they are today, yet he doesnt even get a mention of being an Immortal. The great Ronaldo de Lima, after a 2 year hiatus due to knee injury and was told he wouldnt play football, came back and scored more goals than ever. Ronaldinho scored against Barcelona twice by beating about 5 players including the keeper, yet he didnt get a mention in your liist. Please keep your shirt on and get your facts right, Rooney in any context is not in the same class as a footballing immortal! Zidane, Pele, Maradonna have all won wrold cups for their country, has Rooney done that! please give us a break , u analyze like a typical Manu fan not a seasoned sports analyst if youre one!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  12. Michael Hart

    Rooney is just a "regular" good player for his generation. Has not accomplished anything significant so far on the major tournaments such as the world cup and european championships. Immortality for Rooney has not been reached yet.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  13. Gregg

    This guy has been off form all season, almost processed a transfer request but was talked out of it, and hasn't even been a regular starter. Now he nails one bike which is just as much luck as skill to get it right, and you're calling him a legend comparing him to the likes of Messi, Maradona, and Zizou? Please...

    Rooney has a long way to go to maintain form, be a positive aspect of the team, and do his job consistently (put the ball in the back of the net).

    Until then, it's just one goal.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  14. TheCitizen

    Simply amazing.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  15. Demis

    Great goals are memorable and they have been scored by both great and not so great players. Great goals don't make players footbal immortals. All the big immartal players you mentioned are not remembered only for those great moments. If you watch (which I believe you do) goals of the of first/second division European leagues you find a bunch brilliant goals.
    The point is Rooney is good, but the rest of the world, except for premier league crazy ones, will remember him for his world cup and European championships in which he has always been a little above average. Rooney is just a mere mortal whose name will be difficult to remember unless something drastically changes

    February 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  16. Saby

    Rooney is good, no doubt. His goal was sublime, certainly. But immortal? hardly.
    Doing something well once in a while is normal. Juninho in all the free kicks in France, C Ronaldo in most games. Ronaldinho v England in the World Cup, and lots of others. Hundreds of players do this once in a while. But consistently ? hardly.
    Also it is an extreme stretch to say of Rooney " he will surely lead Manchester United to the Premier League title this season". Berbatov, Nani, Hernandes, these are the leaders in front of Rooney in ensuring ManU success.
    Rooney is good and is may favourite player in my favourite club. But come on Pedro, try to be objective and honest once in a while..

    February 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  17. jose morales

    hugo sanchez use to make those bycicle kicks very often, i think it´s a great goal, but nothing more...

    February 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  18. Chris

    Well Rooney is good, but he is not even close to be as good as other players in his time.

    Lionel Messi

    Christiano Ronaldo

    Nani from ManU

    And many more are better, and the huge problems ManU had with him last year, and then he signs a new deal and havent actually played well since.

    Immortal defently not, good defently yes! :-)

    February 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  19. Ade

    no in the same sense that bill shankley was waaay over rated too!

    February 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  20. gkj

    One overrated, speculative moment does not qualify Rooney to be in the same league as the football greats. not at the moment at least!!

    February 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  21. Simon O'Rourke

    What a ridiculous article. Rooney is nowhere near good enough to be classed as one of the immortals in football. Let';s be perfectly honest about this; he's not even CLOSE to being in the top 500 football players of all time. He's not even the best player in his current team, so to class him up there with all time greats is ludicrous and just shoddy reporting.

    A cracking overhead kick makes him an immortal? Then step up Trevor Sinclair, and take your seat next to Pele, Ronaldo (original one), Zinedine and Diego.

    Analyze this further and realise that his overhead kick is not even top 100 in the premier league goals list. Top 100? scratch that and add a zero. It's a nice goal, but there have been better this weekend in many leagues. Want the best goal of the weekend? Look up Robert Snodgrass' goal for Leeds versus Bristol. That goal is pure class.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  22. GKS

    Here's hoping Mr. Pinto is reading all of the above!!

    Well done football fans! Well done!!

    February 14, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  23. Rich

    Fantastic goal no doubt. Is he one of the best out there? Sure, otherwise he wouldn´t be have the chance to play for ManU.

    Immortal? No, not yet. Not just for one fantastic goal.

    For him to become immortal he´ll have to score the goals that will give England a World Cup.

    February 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  24. rony

    are you kidding me?? goals like his can be seen almost every week around the globe.
    And comparing Rooney with Pele, Maradona or (good god, please forgive them) Messi is both idiotic and sacrilegious.

    Rooney, MU, and English football are the most overrated sports names in the world (business may be good, but when was the last time they won ANYTHING?)

    February 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  25. James

    This is a very dumb article. How does one goal make you a immortal? You can only call him a great of after scoring the goal he goes on to doing what Pele , Maradona, Zidane and Ronaldo did – win a world cup. Pele didn;t just score a great goal in 1958 is Sweden, he went on to win 3 WCs.

    Let's also remember, this was a league match, not a big international. Rooney has failed to make a huge impact anywhere near the standard he would need to reach to be put in the same sentence as Pele or Maradona. In fact, there are hundreds of past and present players I would put between Pele and Rooney! I would put all these players ahead of Rooney: Eusebio, Di Stefano, Van Basten, Gullit, George Best, Gascoigne (yes Gazza was better!) Zico, Romario, Ronaldo, C Ronaldo, Messi, Bergkamp, Batistuta – I haven't even scratched the surface.

    Good player? Definitely. Immortal??? Puh-leeeeeeze.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  26. fjp

    Rooney in the same breath as Pele, Maradona or even Messi? Come on! Many people try the bicycle kick and more often than not miss. It is usually spectacular when it succeeds. Nothing more. Rooney has always just been an average player. No surprises that he did not shine at the world cup. It was the English press that hyped him up and thought that he was special. He wouldn't get a place in England 1966 team.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  27. Andrew Chia

    Rooney's goal makes him a legend in the eyes of his fans, perhaps not in others.

    February 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  28. Vlado

    One of the greatest goals of all time, and Im a huge "fotball" -as its called =) – fan. Not only the goal, but the minute, the match, all of the cirkumstances around the goal makes it one of the best and most important goals. Now the goal itself is not so ugly either... =)

    February 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  29. alain morel

    Rooney is a very gifted player but not to be compared with Pele Maradona Cruiff Platini and Zidane who were good in all field sections of the game with their pinpoint passes and presence on the field.Scoring wonderful goals is easier than passing or crossing accurately

    February 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  30. Jose

    A legend not in the least!! Rooney is a good player, but that is it!!! Messi himself is a great player and like Rooney cannot be considered a legend just yet! For them both to be considered as a legend they both must win the most important trophy of all which is the WORLD CUP. Until they win one they are just good players who play the game !

    February 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  31. USA Gooner

    Well taken opportunity by Rooney, but of the many attempted spectacular goals a few will hit the target, and fewer still will end up as goals. I watched the match and enjoyed the goal, and as an Arsenal fan I was disappointed with the outcome of the match, however it was a vital win for the aspiring BPL leaders. Sad to say it but Rooney's goal does not give him automatic entry into the football gods club, and the writer of this story aught to consider saving their self for the fiction category of story telling.

    February 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  32. Demis

    Dear Pedro,
    Are you trying to be provocative or do you want to be judged by your superlative loaded piece of opinon you scribbled in this article/ You are putting the most blinded Rooney fan to shame, man!

    February 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  33. vincent

    I completely agree with the first comment from james.
    great player, far from becoming a legend, especially if just based on a superb goal.
    goals that make you a legend:
    zidane's goal – champions league final against leverkusen
    maradona's goal – world cup 86 against england
    ...

    February 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  34. H

    The writer of this article must be English- straight from British journalistic schools. These guys are out to spread propaganda via colorful TV images and videos to promote their players and mint cash. While there is no problem in doing this, let's be realistic for once. Reality is found on biggest altars of soccer – in the World Cup and European Championships. This is where the likes of Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo vanish without scoring a single goal. And when they play against minnows (like this bunch of hastily assembled mercenaries enjoying Arab money), the English media is quick to call them great. Greatness is what Pele, Il fenomeno Ronaldo Lima, Maradona, Zidane and Eusebio did. Over time, reality proofs the English players wrong. They are not any where near good, leave alone great. When they stomach this, they will find greatness. IN HUMILITY, THERE LIES GREATNESS. Hail English players!

    February 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  35. Jay

    I dont see how this goal compares to van Basten's Bicycle kick in his ajax peroid (look it up on youtube), it was absolutly flawless and hit the crossbar and post like it was meant to just fit in there. Its an awesome goal but this article is just biased.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  36. fenriz

    This has been blown out of proportion only because it's Manchester United and Rooney is British. it's a good goal, no doubt, but Crouch scored two brilliant goals in similar style while at Liverpool and no one raved about them. Personally, I consider Tiote's goal against Arsenal better because of the difficulty of the strike – a right-footed player, hitting the ball on the volley with his left foot, over 30 meters from goal, when his team is losing 3-4.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  37. ian

    great goal, not a legend

    February 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  38. TheZow

    Great footballers are NOT defined by career-changing moments. Great footballers are defined by the CONSISTENCY of their play and the contribution they make to the TEAMS they play for. Give Kermit the frog an opportunity, he would score a goal like Rooney, but it wouldnt make him an "immortal". Goals like Rooney's are scored every week all over the world.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  39. Pez

    This is classical british hype. The goal was good, but not a career defining one... remember roberto carlos amazing swerving goal ? by that time, he had already been in two world cup winning squads, but even he isn't on the same list as maradona or pele. as someone with a brazilian last name, this writer should know better.
    And then one wonders why the english team perform miserably at a global stage – they think they are better than they actually are.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  40. Luke

    Though I'm skeptical about whether he is actually back; The goal is definitely one of the greatest, may I say the greatest bicycle-kick at least. Even in training you can miss all those shots, but this one in the moment of greatest need was executed perfectly, simply perfect.

    People don't realize how ridiculous it is to pull that shot the way Rooney did; It wasn't sloppy, the ball had an incredible force when ripping through that net and aimed at the angle, simply perfect.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  41. Jack

    Check out for" Patrick Mboma France-Cameroun Octorbre 2000" in you tube and compare the goal he scored with that of Rooney . One can conclude that Rooney`s goal has been blown out of propotion as fenriz rightly put it.

    February 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  42. Jun Hyuk

    Park Ji Sung!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  43. tom

    Why has this goal been so overhyped? there have been better goals this season, Samir Nasri's second goal vs fulham is goal of the season so far for me, but that didn't get much attention, because he's not the single most overrated player I can remember, that award goes to Wayne Rooney. He has had a terrible season, and didn't even play all that well in the Man City match. Saying that this goal puts him amongst the all time greats just sums up how incredibly overrated Rooney is.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  44. Claudio

    Awesome goal? Undoubtably. Does a goal make you immortal per si? Don't think so. Pelé, ZZ, Maradona, Figo didn't become football's immortals (as CR and Messi won't become) because of one goal. Nor has a particular goal proved to be career changing to any of them. They've, or will, become immortal due to shere talent, excelence on field, and supreme achievements. I'm sorry to say that WR has still a long way to go, and regretably, little time to reach immortal status. For all is talent, which he has, WR is just forgetable outside England and in a global context.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  45. koki mourao

    No he is not.... LOL LOL LOL CNN shouls stick with baseball

    February 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  46. alehandro

    This article is written by someone who's read about football and watched a bit, but never played the game anywhere other than the beach or his local park. Rooney did not have the 'presence of mind" to attempt the overhead kick, it was his only option as the deflection meant the ball dropped behind him. The deflection slowed the ball up too, so he had plenty of time to readjust and set his sights. Even then he mis-hit the shot if you watched the replay in slow motion, as it came off his shin not his foot, so the shot could have gone anywhere.
    As it turned out the result was a great goal, but it was a freak goal, and certainly not a unique goal. If you'd been around footballers on the training ground you'd realise that players try these types of shots all the time with varying degrees of success. The fact that it was in a real game was irrelevant because as a player you don't t think like that, your reaction is instinctive. And as for putting him among the all-time greats and defining his career, come on, get some perspective. However great it was, one goal can't do that for any player.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  47. Ade

    Messi? he was over rated at the world cup too. Where do people get these dillusions from? Messi isn't a great, in fact the only great has retired today Ronaldo. Messi and Rooney in the same league? 466 games 326 goals legendary

    February 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  48. Luke

    Lol, there's a huge difference kicking a bouncing ball and an aerial one that is coming at full speed from the cross; Mboma's goal was nice, but nowhere near Rooney's, just go try it out, kick a ball from a cross like Rooney did, it's a ball that is so easy to mis-hit, and even if you do try putting it in the angle he did. Whereas a ball like the one Mboma hit is much more slower and easier to hit as it is bouncing off the ground.

    You simply can't compare them, period.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  49. Joe

    Great goal, ridiculous blog; of course they'll win the Premier League, and Wazza is not back just because he scored one goal.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  50. james

    OK, these attacks on Rooney are idiocy. You know what makes him one of the great players of his generation? HE WILL PLAY DEFENSE!!! Can anyone recall a time Messi covered for a fullback who went up the pitch? Can anyone recall a time CR7 even tried to play defense? Don't bother, they're not there. Soccer is not a one-way game. Rooney is a team player. Has he been off on scoring this year, yes, but he also has 11 assists, so he has a hand in 16 goals this year and he missed 10 matches earlier. So 16 goals in 17 matches he's responsible for in one way or another. Not bad for someone who's game is off.

    February 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  51. Stani Slaus

    There seems to be an inclination to over-hype rooney' achievements and it is quite laughable and pathetic coming from CNN...........come on...compare roone to pele, zidane etc? somebody must be living on cloud cuckoo.............

    February 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  52. donadoni

    do this blogger know about football? sure he knows bout basketball and american football...but not soccer...rooney is inconsistent...one goal,a lucky goal n immortal? hahahaha

    February 14, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  53. J.P. Coen

    You could consider writing about baseball?

    February 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  54. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Wayne Rooney is a huge talent. That stupendous effort is a morale booster for Rooney, his team mates and Manchester United Fans world wide.

    February 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  55. Aaron

    Scoring a great goal in a bad season, coming out of a dismal world cup does not make one immortal.

    February 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  56. anon

    Now Dave Narey's toe poke against Brazil in the 1982 World Cup made him an immortal (LOL). Rooney's lucky goal was just at an English League match. He failed miserably to do anything at last years World Cup.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  57. Granbo

    Don't get carried away. The man gets paid £80,000 a week to play football and nothing else if he can't score a goal like that at least once in a career then I want my money back. I saw a goal like that on You Tube scored by a non league player filmed on a dvd cam on a Sunday afternoon for a pub team on the local field, he plays for fun and in the week works as a plumber.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  58. Dev Mehta (Gunner)

    Arsenal and man city are still potential winners of the premier league this season
    the author of the article seems to have forgotten that.

    February 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  59. zhictoz

    Hugo Sanchez does this most of the times.

    February 14, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  60. juan

    well youtube took out the content.. =(

    February 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  61. Nanu

    This is the best brilliant goal i have seen in football and paricularly as a Man United fan!

    February 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  62. issac deed

    Pure nonsense, one goal and he is a legend !

    February 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  63. Rick

    Great goal...yes. Rooney an immortal....God no. It was a fantastic goal, but how often does that go in? It requires a lot more skill in my opinion to score the goals Messi consistently does weaving through defenders. I didn't see the game, but I heard Rooney was largely anonymous other than the goal. How many goals has he scored from open play within the last year? A very good player no doubt, but he should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as the likes of Pele, Maradona, or even Messi.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  64. Luis

    Hey, what about the goals that Hugo Sanchez made???? This type of goal was his signature, and nobody in the world could do it better.
    He won 5 times the best goaler maker award in one of the best leagues in the world, now that's how you become a legend.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  65. Francis

    Great player, but he did nothing during the last wold cup for England. During those moments you must show what you´re made of. Greetings from Uruguay. Our whole country is the half of London and we reached fourth in the world cup.

    February 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  66. Munya Munos

    This is the most sensible piece Pinto has penned in a long time – its a huge relief from his gloating over Spanish soccer!!! Just a few weeks ago he wrote off the English Premier League as "mediocre" and destined for the scrap-yard & yet today here he is, marveling at a sublime goal from the same EPL that he castigated??!! At least he's truthful & gentleman enough to admit his own faulty arguments...

    February 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  67. LUANA CRISTINA

    Speaking about phenomenon....To me just had one, Ronaldo Nazário "the best" Forward of the world, unfortunately the things end someday and today He retired of football, I will never see a player like him R9.

    He is humble, and always respected your enemies.

    I love him and I always will support the R9. He's the best!

    February 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  68. jorgen friis

    agree the goal was pure magic but remember one swallow does not make a summer thus to rate Rooney a member of all-time footballers on the basis of this one goal which, I agree, was audacious and exquisite is, in my view, totally ludicrous.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:30 am | Reply
  69. John

    No World Cups = Mortal

    February 15, 2011 at 6:59 am | Reply
  70. Sultanic

    HMMMM... I'M SURPRISE PEOPLE ARE EVEN ARGUING OVER THIS! I AGREE TOTALLY WITH THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE. IT TAKE A MOMENT TO SLIP TO IMMORTALITY. IT IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER ONE AGREES OR NOT, ROONEY IS NOW AN IMMORTAL. PEOPLE WILL DEBATE AND ADMIRE THE GOAL FOR ALL "FOOTBALLING" TIME.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:26 am | Reply
  71. Paul

    Are you kidding me?
    I don't think this is a serious article – yes the goal was great, but to say he is immortal is beyond serious journalism. How many goals has he scored so far? is he magic like Berbatov? Is he charismatic like Messi?
    I think this is a well paid article, if you know what i mean.....

    February 15, 2011 at 7:50 am | Reply
  72. henri

    awsomme kick rooney keep it up

    February 15, 2011 at 8:00 am | Reply
  73. Fahad

    I'm a great Rooney and ManU fan, but its sad to see his shabby presence in front of the goal this season. Ofcourse, he is naturally talented and having a rough phase and I hope that he comes out clear and proves his true worth as one of the greats in the footballing world. His sheers presence in the line up make ManU a formidable force, not stealing anything form the masters (Giggs and Scholes) and the Berbatov and Nani.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  74. kasonde

    rooney wont be remembered in international football, stop comparing him 2 the greats past and present.

    1) ronney hasn ot broken any international records

    e.g Pele was the youngest player 2 score hat-trick at world cup and he is also Brazils all time top scorer

    Raul is the all time scocer in champions was all time top scorer for spain when he retired.

    2) rooney has never been top scorer in epl or champions league

    3) rooney has not scored a single goal at any world cup

    the media should stop overrating this player as u did with becham

    February 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  75. Brian

    I have never been a big fan of Rooney, but this was undoubtedly an absolutely stunning and beautiful goal. For that he does deserve recognition and I'm sure this goal will be replayed about a million times before the month is out.

    However, he has by no means joined the ranks of the immortals. The first three players you mentioned have a vastly larger list of achievements, all of which have won at least one World Cup (or three, in Pele's case). Zidane was world player of the year three times, Messi twice. One goal doesn't necessarily make a career, although it can lead to a lot of open doors.

    Regardless, this was an amazing goal scored in a derby match in the domestic league of a country that flubbed out of the World Cup and hasn't won a European club title in over half a decade. Plus, Rooney's only achievements have been at Man U, nowhere else – and even then he hasn't taken them nearly as far as Messi and Ronaldinho have taken Barcelona or Zidane and Ronaldo took Real Madrid.

    Sorry Rooney, it takes a lot more than a bicycle kick goal, even an amazing one like that, to give you the right to even tie the laces of the cleats of the real immortals like Pele, Zidane, Maradona, Cruyff, Puskas, and Ronaldo.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  76. marcos from Brazil

    Wayne Rooney becomes a legend because of a bicycle kick goal... hahahahahahahahaha good joke Pedro hahahahaha that was hilarious, you should work as a comedian, not as a sport anchor :)

    February 16, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply
  77. Treon T

    Pedro..Pedro, as a Portuguese i would hope you'd not jump on the English bandwagon that make their teams,stars and their league seem better than anyone else's. Yeah it was a good goal, lets appreciate it for that and leave it at that. Lets not go around making Rooney seem like he is immortal or great or a legend. He isnt even close. This reminds me of the banner that some Man U fans had at the old trafford, i think it was during the the Champions League game v Bayern. And they called Rooney...the white Pele. Typical of the English and particularly utd fans and laughable of course.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  78. Kehinde Oyenekn

    Doubtless, it was a great goal. But before we start overating the poor guy, he is certainly far from being classifed in the pantheon of the immortals.! far from it!
    Rooney fizzles out on the big stage. Any reader can count again and again how many times that has happened. All soccer immortals are game changers on the big stage. I haven't seen him lift England in a momentous occasion. Somehow, he produces flashes of that against relatively lowly rated sides.

    Moreover, the English media has a tradition of overating their players. In all sincerity, I have seen that kind of goal produced in South American leagues with monotonous regularity; even in their minor leagues. Yet, no one can remember the players.

    The truth is, English soccer puts a lot of premium on technicality, tactics and organisation, with little emphasis on flair and style. And when anyone of their players produces a spark of this, no matter how momentary, it becomes a celebration point.

    Rooney desrves a pat o the back for that moment of beauty. Immortal? Please, get serious!

    February 16, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  79. tuffymacca

    Wayne Rooney indeed scored a brilliant bicycle kick but should never be mentioned in the same breath with Pele ,Maradona,Zidane ,Cryuff,Platini,Ronaldo ,Ronaldinho &Messi coz he despite how hard he works on the pitch he will never be as good.Infact it is an insult & a travesty to put Rooney on the same pedestal with the aforementioned football immortals.Rooney will never win the Fifa World cup with England ,he will never win the the Fifa World player of the year.He simply isnt good enough.Rooney is an overrated British bulldog whose footballing brain is very limited.It is the myopic ,biased English press devoid of real sporting heroes that want us to believe that Rooney is really world class/worldbeater.What has Rooney achieved other than being an accomplished regular in the redlight district.Rooney will never carry the Red Devils Mancus to Champions league glory nor will he ever carry England to win the FIFA World cup.

    February 16, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
  80. Paul

    Being Portuguese and an eternal admirer of Pedro Pinto while he hosts the 30 minute world sport on CNN, I was totally disappointed with the way he rated Rooney in the same breath as Maradonna, Pele, Ronaldo, Zidane, Cruyff and the like! To add insult to injury he calls him immortal really boggles my mind and I'm beginning to doubt as to whether he's a soccer pundit or a sports one at that! No doubt, the goal he scored is great and he surely should be commended for that but to call him immortal is an outright injustice to sports journalism and really saddens me and my advice is probably for Pedro to fine tune his blogging or better still comment on matters he knows best!

    February 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  81. Wilfred Oluoch

    The fans have it right.

    Rooney is good. Very good. But he still has a long way to go before becoming a legend. He has to win a world cup and many more major competitions. If he keeps his head straight, he probably can.

    Keep at it Rooney old boy!

    February 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  82. Manm

    No Eric Cantona in your illustrative examples? He of the "good goal" – one that is "beautiful"? One that is "important"?

    February 17, 2011 at 1:26 am | Reply
  83. TSteveo

    Everytime I ever read one of your articles I am amazed at how little insight u actually have on the game. It's like u see things in headlines or replayed on sports networks and say "oh i'll write about that." Maybe before you write such idiotic things you should know something about the game. Sure it was an amazing goal and deserves the praise it has gotten, but like all the other bloggers on here have noted Rooney is in terrible form AGAIN! He doesn't even deserve to be noted as a contender for legendary status. You again jump on the bandwagon, as you always do just like u do with Barcelona. Have you ever even heard of Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christiano Ronaldo, etc.? These young players are the ones dominating the game today and deserve praise from pundits like you. They are the ones who are well on their way to legendary status but of course won't ever get a nod from the likes of CNN and esp Pedro Pinto. Get a new job cuz I'm comin for yours.

    February 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  84. Michael McKenzie

    After all that Rooney was built up to be, he has never been as good as they say he was. Some people say its because he's injury prone but to be honest so was Marco van Basten. Rooney can't be up there with Pele and Maradona, everyone just thinks that because the english media said he was going to be, but unfortunally for England he isn't. He is probably one of if not the best player in the EPL but he just isn't Pele.

    Rooney is a very good player and this goal will help him get out of the horrible form he is in. He is not one of the greatest players of all time.

    P.S. Alfredo Di Stefano should be up there in the greatest footballers ever. My Grandfather saw him in the 1960 European Cup Final at Hampden Park. He scored a hatrick and is possible should be up there with the greatest players ever.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  85. Name*

    what a blasphemous article. pedro your Man United colours are showing a bit too much

    March 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply

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