By- Rilwan Adetayo Balogun
They were two well taken goals. Yes, well taken! How the ball touches the net never matters in football, what matters most is if it hits the net and is counted. Emmanuel Dennis must have had the best night of his career on Tuesday after netting a brace against Real Madrid at the powerful, loud and legendary stadium, the Santiago Bernabeu.
He became just the third Nigerian to score against Real Madrid with others being Yusuf Ayila and James Obiorah. Real Madrid, still a tad shy of the brilliance of their consistent run of successes in Europe, have not been particularly impressive this season, despite Zinedine Zidane’s return. However, one would still expect Club Brugge to be a stroll in the park for the Los Blancos.
It never turned out so, as they had to battle from a two-goal deficit to get a draw against the Belgians, thanks to a numerical advantage. It was a night that will go down in history as one of the finest for Club Brugge, and one that will arguably be Nigerian striker, Dennis’ best moments so far in his career. The former Abuja FC attacker turned out the biggest winner in the game, and gave his name a big lift after his goal celebration and statement. Choosing to celebrate a goal like Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu on a UEFA Champions League night will be a sting on the Los Blancos faithful. And choosing the perfect words afterwards has only clearly underlined his intelligence as an individual. In a celebration that might have brought back memories Ronaldo left Real Madrid fans with, Dennis showed them how much they have missed the Portuguese star, indeed. Speaking about his goal celebration, Dennis said; ”I like Ronaldo, he is my favourite player in the world and I’m not happy he left Real Madrid. I celebrated like that to show them they miss something.” They sounded like the perfect words from an unglamorous player to sell his name to the world, and place and time were used judiciously well for that purpose. Without a doubt, Real Madrid fans must have checked who Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis is after his celebration broke the internet.
It has proven even more important than the goals for him, and it speaks volume about the importance of the decisions taken even in split seconds. Showing a Nazi gesture will never be approved anywhere in European football, neither will racist remarks, signs or other flammable celebrations be welcomed, but Dennis in the most subtle, yet significant way reminded the entire Real Madrid faithful about a man whose ghost still haunts them. There was no humility in his jubilation, and rightly so, as there would have been no regret if he had been on the losing side.
The young Nigerian striker had nothing to lose on a big European night, as he chose the perfect place to steal a big show, the perfect time to say the right words, and most importantly, the perfect celebration for an unexpected ‘gift’. Photo Credit: Bleacher Reports