We’ve previously extolled the virtues of Real Madrid’s header-scoring genius, Sergio Ramos, and our appreciation for this set piece savant has only grown after seeing the following video. Watching Ramos’s mind work in realtime—as he interprets the situation, visualizes the best outcome, then effectuates his plan by directing his teammates around with little more than a few subtle head movements—is really cool:
To see everything come off exactly as he planned it had to be an amazing feeling, even if it was short-lived. While everyone around him followed Ramos’s directions perfectly, the man himself couldn’t get back onside in time and so his resulting goal was correctly ruled out.
Real Madrid are a team whose attacking strategy revolves around crosses and headers—a game plan that runs afoul of ideologues who look down on any goal that doesn’t result from a chain of 53 one-touch passes and a dainty through ball assist. But when you have world-elite aerial players like Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale and brilliant crossers like Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić and Dani Carvajal and Marcelo, it would be crazy not to utilize all that talent out of some misguided sense of aesthetic purity. And as the video above shows, goals from dead-ball crosses and headers can provide a beauty all their own.