Dennis: "I celebrated like Ronaldo to show them that they lost something"
Scoring two goals against Real Madrid, Brugge striker Dennis imitated Cristiano Ronaldo's famous goal celebration in an audacious act of effrontery to the Bernabéu crowd.
Zinedine Zidane said it himself: “We've never had 45 minutes like that”.
It truly was a disastrous first half at the Bernabéu for his Real Madrid side, two goals behind to Club Brugge after young striker Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis scored twice to leave the home crowd stunned at the break.
To add insult to injury, the 21-year-old celebrated his goals by running towards the side-line and imitating Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic celebration, an audacious act of effrontery to a Bernabéu crowd still coming to terms with the Portuguese star’s absence some 15 months on.
Madrid did eventually come back into the game, scoring two goals to save themselves from the ultimate embarrassment. But many in the stadium would have thought that it was the kind of European night where Cristiano would have come into his own and found the third goal to secure the win, had he not broken their hearts and left for Juventus last summer.
It is on nights such as this that the loss of Ronaldo’s magic will most be felt, magic that could have turned one point into three – a commendable 2-2 comeback into a stunning 3-2 turnover.
And after the game, Dennis explained that his imitation of his hero Ronaldo was an act to remind the home crowd of what they had lost – if they needed any reminding.
I was sad when Ronaldo left Madrid - Dennis
“I like Cristiano and for me he is the best player in the world,” the Brugge striker told RTL.
“I was sad when he left Madrid and I celebrated my goals like that to show them that they lost something.”
While it may have come across as the act of an attention seeker, Dennis was quick to point out that his side’s “good result” was down to a collective performance, rather than to his individual contribution.
"I am happy to have scored two goals, we really wanted to win the game and we were not far away, so we have to settle for a point, which is already a good result," he said.
"I think it was down to the effort of the whole team, it would not be fair to say that it is due to my two goals.”
Nevertheless, a famous Bernabéu brace will have made it a truly unforgettable night for Dennis, whose heroics were likely seen by Ronaldo himself. Asked about his promise before the game to get a commemorative tattoo if he scored at the Bernabéu, the young striker responded: “I’ll have to get two then.”
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