German side FC Schalke 04 played Austrian runner-ups Red Bull Salzburg on Thursday in a preseason tuneup. It was a friendly, but a well-fought match, and 77 minutes in, Salzburg led Schalke 2-1. Then 20-year-old Salzburg defender Martin Hinteregger decided to score the goal of his life.
Hinteregger was flanked by two Schalke players who were pressing for the equalizer, but his goalkeeper Alexander Walke decided to pass it to him anyway. The Schalke players seemed to expect him to take a negative touch or play it back to Walke, but Hinteregger wisely let the ball run and slipped past both defenders. Then he looked up, saw Schalke keeper Timo Hildebrand off his line, and decided to have a go from 70 yards out.
We've seen long goals before, but the technique involved here is absolutely unreal. The 50- and 60-yard goals that we see are usually floated over keepers stuck in no-man's land (which is really, really hard to do and really, really impressive in its own right), but Hinteregger was so far away from goal that if he lofted his shot, Hildebrand would've been able to recover. So he drove it, guiding the ball with enough power just over the keeper's outstretched fingers.
According to NBC Sports, the defender has never scored a professional goal, and sadly, this goal won't count since it took place during a friendly. Hinteregger will probably have to settle for set pieces and goalmouth scrums from now on, but no one will ever be able to say he can't hit a good ball.