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Ronaldo football's greatest header - ex-Ireland striker Cascarino
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  • 14 Mar 19
  • Soccer
  • 4
Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Juventus v Atletico Madrid - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - March 12, 2019  Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores their second goal   REUTERS/Massimo Pinca 691px 444px Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 Second Leg - Juventus v Atletico Madrid - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - March 12, 2019 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo scores their second goal REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

(Reuters) - Portugal and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest header in the history of football with an extraordinary range, according to former Ireland striker Tony Cascarino.

Ronaldo, who has netted 123 headed goals in his career, scored with two headers to help Juventus come from behind and eliminate Atletico Madrid 3-2 on aggregate in the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday.

Cascarino, who scored 103 goals in his career, many of which were towering headers, explained in his column in The Times how Ronaldo has converted himself from a tricky winger to a forward who excelled at headers inside the box.

"Ronaldo is a class above anyone who has ever played the game. The range of headers he can score is extraordinary," Cascarino wrote.

"You'll see flicked headers from a standing position, powerful leaps with power and precision, flicks at a near post after running across a defender... There are so many different varieties and he is brilliant at all of them."

Cascarino was most impressed with Ronaldo's second goal against Atletico when he directed a header goalwards even though he was on the way down when he headed the ball.

"(He) was almost falling to the ground when he connected with Joao Cancelo's cross and thumped a header that Jan Oblak failed to keep out," he said. "He was on the way down from his jump and still created so much power with his header."

Cascarino credits Ronaldo's height, technique and physique which allows him to make a running jump that is 78 cm high, seven cm higher than the average basketball player in the NBA.

"His body shape has changed a lot over the years and he has clearly spent a lot of time working on his upper body strength. This allows him to lift himself into the air... When he's in the air, he's not coming down quickly," Cascarino added.

"The strength of his thighs is pivotal to the height of his leap... If you look at his neck he has clearly strengthened it considerably. It's very important for generating power with your head.

"He has transformed himself into the best header of the ball in world football, and that will have happened from grafting in the gym and tireless work on the training pitch."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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2018/2019 UEFA Champions League
2018/2019 UEFA Europa League
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  • Group
  • e
Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Manchester City MAC 98 38 32 2 4 95 23 +72 98
2 Liverpool LIV 97 38 30 7 1 89 22 +67 97
3 Chelsea CHE 72 38 21 9 8 63 39 +24 72
4 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 71 38 23 2 13 67 39 +28 71
5 Arsenal ARS 70 38 21 7 10 73 51 +22 70
6 Manchester United MUN 66 38 19 9 10 65 54 +11 66
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 57 38 16 9 13 47 46 +1 57
8 Everton EVE 54 38 15 9 14 54 46 +8 54
9 Leicester City LEI 52 38 15 7 16 51 48 +3 52
10 West Ham United WES 52 38 15 7 16 52 55 -3 52
11 Watford WAT 50 38 14 8 16 52 59 -7 50
12 Crystal Palace CRY 49 38 14 7 17 51 53 -2 49
13 Newcastle United NEW 45 38 12 9 17 42 48 -6 45
14 AFC Bournemouth BOU 45 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14 45
15 Burnley BUR 40 38 11 7 20 45 68 -23 40
16 Southampton SOU 39 38 9 12 17 45 65 -20 39
17 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 36 38 9 9 20 35 60 -25 36
18 Cardiff City CAR 34 38 10 4 24 34 69 -35 34
19 Fulham FUL 26 38 7 5 26 34 81 -47 26
20 Huddersfield Town HUD 16 38 3 7 28 22 76 -54 16
*e1 & e2 advances to R16, e3 possible R16
2018/2019 Premier League
2018/2019 UEFA Champions League
2018/2019 UEFA Europa League
2018/2019 A-League
2018/2019 Ligue 1
2018/2019 Bundesliga
2018/2019 La Liga
2018/2019 Primeira Liga
2017/2018 Serie A
2018 World Cup
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