Aleksandr Ryazantsev set FC Rubin Kazan on their way to a shock 2-1 win at FC Barcelona in October 2009 with a stunning long-range strike, a goal he reminisces about here.
What better way to settle down against the UEFA Champions League holders on their patch than with an early goal?
Aleksandr Ryazantsev provided just that on FC Rubin Kazan's trip to the Camp Nou in October 2009, his long-range effort setting the Russian team on their way to a shock 2-1 victory against FC Barcelona. It is a strike worthy of its place in UEFA's best goal poll.
The Tatarstan club's debut campaign among Europe's elite had not started well. A 3-1 loss to FC Dynamo Kyiv preceded a creditable 1-1 home draw with FC Internazionale Milano, but Rubin travelled to Catalonia needing to cause a massive upset in order to register that historic first win. Were they nervous? "Actually, I was rather calm," Ryazantsev − who left Rubin for FC Zenit in January − told UEFA.com.
Without so much as a second thought, the winger, now 27, strode on to the ball after it had slipped through the legs of Yaya Touré. Not breaking stride, the Russian international fired, via the upright, an unstoppable right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner of Víctor Valdés's net from upwards of 30 metres.
"It was all spontaneous," he said. "We were acting according to the situation. The ball bounced, so I decided to hit it − why not?" Did he consider how far out he was? "I didn't think so at the time. Later, yes. During the match I guess you have a different visual perception of the stadium − it seemed much closer."
Check out the goal here and register your vote.