Former legendary Napoli striker, Bruno Giordano, has contended that Nigeria international Victor Osimhen is better than Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to heading home aerials. Cristiano Ronaldo is a towering and legendary figure in the game, while Victor Osimhen is a fast-rising Nigerian star with an intense fervor for banging in the goals.
Bruno Giordano has tried to juxtapose Osimehns striking headers with Cristiano Ronaldo’s. Can he be right? How do the two strikers compare on converting aerials?
Ronaldo’s style and Pattern
Undisputably, Cristiano is a legendary figure in the game. He has mounted assaults on many records and has established his dominance in the game. Ronaldo has bagged the Ballon d’Or five times. He scores with both head and legs, and a good number of his goals have been headers – 112 of them, and he scores in style.
Ronaldo possesses the advantage of height over Osimhen. Great headers possess one attribute and characteristic – good height. This is not something you take away from Portugal international.
Despite the age disadvantage, he can tower extremely high above defenders to glance it home in style. A typical example is the Champions League clash at Santiago Bernabeu against Manchester United in 2013. Angel Di Maria had flung in a cross, with Ronaldo rising high against a helpless Patrice Evra to nod in an equalizer. It was a great and spectacular show of athleticism.
According to performance scientist Rajpal Brar, Ronaldo scores headers in five different ways, namely, vertical leap, horizontal leap, balance leap, torso lean, and fearless.
In this kind of header, he rises with a prodigious leap above the ground up to 2.56m. A typical example is his goal against Sampdoria, in which he rose to hang in the air and headed into the net.
According to Brar, CR7 has scored headers severally with this style. He waits in the box and quickly takes a dart pass his marker to glance home the goal.
This combines the first two approaches. The 2-leg approach allows him to thrust himself into the air forcefully
Coordinated Torso lean
This is more conventional. With this method, he jerks himself forward to meet the ball
As the name implies, this involves taking bold and more risky steps to score penalties against opponents. Ronaldo pulled a fearless head against Roma in the Champions League quarterfinals, diving through blocks of bodies to score.
How Does Victor Osimhen Fare?
Osimhem is a a top Napoli striker. He scored 14 goals last season for Napoli and 9 of those goals were headers. This was five more than Cristiano Ronaldo who bagged only 4 headers from his 24 goals for Manchester United.
According to Giordano, Osimhen is versatile and creative with a good work rate. He clears the defense and opens up for teammates. Giordano describes Osimhen as “incredible.”
“We are talking about an incredible player [Osimhen],” he said.
“He opens gaps for his teammates, walks the defenses, and then scores. He does not give up and is always the protagonist.”
Giordano described that particular aspect of Osimhen’s goal-scoring ability – a firm header.
“The header. In this fundamental, he is even stronger than Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Ronaldo scored 4 headers last season for Manchester United while Osimhen scored 9 headers with his 14 goals. This implies that 64% of Osihmen’s goals were headers while 16% of Ronaldo’s were headers. Giordano may actually be right after all based on these stats.