Costa Rican winger Joel Campbell stunned Manchester United with a preposterous goal during a Champions League matchup Tuesday in Greece. The 21-year-old Campbell, playing for the Greek squad Olympiakos, scored early in the second half in a 2-0 victory over the storied English club.
Argentine striker Alejandro Dominguez notched the first goal for Olympiakos at the 38th minute. But it was Campbell’s arcing shot in the 54th minute that sent soccer fans worldwide into a frenzy. You can see Campbell’s golazo in the video above. We also enjoyed the enthusiasm in the live blog from The Daily Telegraph (U.K.), which wrote:
GOAL! Olympiakos 2-0 Manchester United (Campbell) What a goal! What. A. Goal!!!!! Campbell nutmegs Carrick to move into a central position about 22 yards out. He shifts the ball slightly and curls it with his left foot round Ferdinand and past De Gea into the corner of the net. A stunner. And he belongs to Arsenal!
Ah yes, he’s a loanee from Man United’s Premier League rival Arsenal. Campbell has been clamoring for the chance to get on the pitch for Arsenal. With his recent play, Campbell ought to be there next season. (As The Daily Telegraph blog said, “Get on the phone and bring him back.”)
Campbell is not the only Tico star to humble the English powerhouse in recent months. In early December, Costa Rica’s Bryan Oviedo tallied a late goal for Everton to defeat Manchester United, 1-0. Oviedo’s goal was nowhere near as pretty as what Campbell did today, but it was historic. Oviedo gave Everton’s first victory over Manchester United in 21 years.
Campbell and Oviedo — who is recovering from a broken leg — have both introduced themselves to English fans ahead of the 2014 World Cup, where Costa Rica and England are both in the same group. The two national squads will meet in Brazil in June 24, a couple days shy of Campbell’s 22nd birthday. (Another Premier League loanee Bryan Ruíz is also heating up; the Tico scored the game-winner in a Dutch league match last week. Perhaps if given another chance with Fulham, he too can shock United.)
Costa Rica will be heavy underdogs against the English. However, the stars for Costa Rica — led by Campbell, Bryan Ruíz, Oviedo (if he heals in time) and goalie Keylor Navas (a suddenly hot prospect) — no doubt look capable of challenging the world’s best competition.