When Cristiano Ronaldo first burst onto the scene, his claim to fame was his incredible flair.
His quick feet and ability to bamboozle defenders was his greatest asset and immediately endeared him to spectators, always pleased to be entertained.
But criticism soon followed as his end product was lacking. Early on in his Manchester United career, he was branded a circus act more than a future Ballon d’Or winner.
That’s when he knuckled down and started producing goals and assists, getting shots and passes away earlier. At Real Madrid though, he became a goal-scoring machine, cutting out most of the tricks in favour of efficiency.
But every now and then he does reach into his vast repertoire and pull out an absolute gem, which is what he did in Real Madrid’s La Liga clash with Espanyol, much to David Lopez’s misfortune.
In the 27th minute of the encounter with the tie deadlocked, Ronaldo received the ball down the left channel and proceeded to bamboozle his way past Lopez with an audacious elastico-nutmeg before playing the ball across the penalty area.
Madrid ended up winning the game 2-0 with Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale scoring but Ronaldo’s little trick may well have been the most spectacular incident of the match.
Cristiano nutmegs Espanyol's defender in the most stylish way there is pic.twitter.com/l4JR50QHwK— SB (@Realmadridplace) February 18, 2017