Memphis Depay revealed that he is “not David Beckham” despite his incredible strike from the halfway line for Lyon at the weekend.
Depay scored twice as Lyon thumped Toulouse 4-0 in Ligue 1 on Sunday, but it was his second goal that earned all the headlines after he beat visiting keeper Alban Lafont from the centre circle.
The strike inevitably drew comparisons with Beckham’s famous goal against Wimbledon in 1996, but Memphis was rather more reserved.
“I’m not David Beckham,” he told Canal+. “I don’t compare myself to such a legend.
“I think it’s great for me to score a goal like this. I tried the same thing a few years ago when I played for PSV and I hit the bar. This time, I got lucky.
“I realised in the first half that the keeper was off his line all the time. We put on pressure, I looked at him, and as soon as we won the ball I knew where he was, so all I had to do was turn and just do it – don’t think, just shoot.
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) March 12, 2017
“I didn’t even see the ball go in, I just saw the stadium going crazy.
“I think I’ve scored the best goal of my life. Aside from that, I’m very happy because the team has taken an important victory.
“I think I’m making progress every day in training. I know the team and my team-mates better and better. I have a lot of hope for the future.”
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas compared the effort to one Pele attempted but missed in the 1970 World Cup clash between Brazil and Czechoslovakia.
“Once more, through his performance, Memphis treated us,” he said. “He did something that Pele tried – I don’t remember what year he did it in.
“This is a sign of a very high class. He’s the kind of player who can make the fans come to the stadium.
“We’re lucky to have exceptional homegrown players and now foreign players of an international level.”