Stellar Erik Lamela produces goal of the season, word of the day

With one jaw-dropping moment of skill and dexterity Erik Lamela installed himself an early favourite to win FIFA`s goal of the year award -- and at the same time ensured the term "rabona" became the overnight buzzword of soccer`s lexicon.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 24, 2014, 18:20 PM IST
Stellar Erik Lamela produces goal of the season, word of the day

London: With one jaw-dropping moment of skill and dexterity Erik Lamela installed himself an early favourite to win FIFA`s goal of the year award -- and at the same time ensured the term "rabona" became the overnight buzzword of soccer`s lexicon.

The Argentine struck after 29 minutes of Tottenham Hotspur`s 5-1 Europa League win over Greek side Asteras Tripolis with one of the greatest goals ever seen at White Hart Lane, but which was almost imperceptible to the naked eye.

With an act of sweet balance and flexibility he wrapped his left leg round the back of his right standing leg to arc his shot 20-metre into the net, leaving goalkeeper Tomas Kosicky rooted to the spot and everyone in the ground stunned.

Many in the stadium, and a watching TV pundit, did not initially realise what Lamela had done to put Spurs 2-0 up, while coach Mauricio Pochettino had a face like thunder as it hit the net - though he later described it as "unbelievable" and probably the best goal he has ever seen.

A reasonably common trick to send in a cross, a "rabona" for a long-range shot is a much rarer beast and very few goals have ever been scored using it.

The term "rabona" is believed to have originated with Ricardo Infante after a game between Argentine teams Estudiantes and Rosario Central in 1948, when the football magazine El Grafico coined the phrase showing Infante, dressed up as a infant pupil -- playing hooky or truant from school.

Rabona in Spanish means to skip school.

The rabona is also a dance step used in the tango, said to have been named after the footballing move, but whatever the origin of its name, the shot stunned Lamela`s Spurs team mates as well as the crowd with fullback Jan Vertonghen pictured with his hands on his head in disbelief.

The Belgian international tweeted afterwards: "Must be the best goal I`ve ever seen" while former Spurs striker Peter Crouch, now at Stoke City, tweeted: "Lamela`s goal for Spurs is the ultimate showboat. WOW !"

Supporter Morris Keston, who first watched the team in the 1940s, tweeted: "In all my 70 years of watching Tottenham Hotspur I`ve never seen a goal quite like Lamela`s."

Lamela, who became Spurs` record buy when he signed for 30 million pounds ($48.16 million) from AS Roma last year, struggled through his first season, but this term has shown real glimpses of his undoubted skill.

Thursday`s goals were only his second and third for the club and he could cap a memorable week by scoring his first in the Premier League against Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on Sunday.