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Grafite’s stunning goal hailed throughout Germany
German media have already decided that Grafite’s brilliant 77th-minute solo goal in Wolfsburg’s 5-1 win over Bayern Munich on Saturday is the goal of the year.
He somehow managed to elude five Bayern players before scoring with a cheeky backheel.
It may seem a bit early to be choosing the “Tor des Jahres” with nine months left in 2009 but even the normally reserved public TV broadcast “Das Aktuelle Sportstudio” proclaimed it “the most spectacular goal in Bundesliga history”.
The electrifying goal has featured in German newscasts all weekend.
Grafite’s goal, coming two days after his 30th birthday, also served as a fitting metaphor for the season as it helped Wolfsburg jump to the top of the Bundesliga in front of Hamburg SV, Hertha Berlin and Bayern.
The small club from the northern town made famous by the Volkswagen factories have now won eight of their nine matches since the winter break (the only blemish a draw at Cologne) after ending the first half of the season back in ninth place and nine points behind Bayern.
It is hard to get enough of the Brazilian’s magical 12-touch goal, which was his second of the match and 20th in the Bundesliga this season, putting him alone at the top of the scoring charts.
Grafite first beat Bayern’s Andreas Ottl and Christian Lell on the left and then dodged lunging goalkeeper Michael Rensing before duping compatriot Breno and Philipp Lahm with the quick backheel just as he appeared to be dribbling away from danger.
“Grafite makes record-champs Bayern look like fools,” read Kicker.de’s headline.
Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said: “You only get one goal like that in a lifetime.”
Grafite, whose father died in October, was his usual modest self afterwards.
“I had my 30th birthday a few days ago so this was a nice present.”
PHOTO: VfL Wolfsburg’s coach Felix Magath (L) shakes hands with Grafite during their Bundesliga match against Bayern Munich, April 4, 2009. REUTERS/Thomas Bohlen