In the fifteenth minute of Roma v Inter (final result 3-0) Hakan Calhanoglu pulled off something truly special. He managed to score directly from a corner kick. It was a beautiful strike, a ball that was impossible for the Roma defence to defend. Rui Patricio was bamboozled and left with no chance.
The Turk is keeping his rich vein of form going: he both scored and assisted in Saturday evening's encounter, while maintaining the sky-high standards he has set for himself in recent weeks. He has now managed five goals this season, with four of those coming in the last five games along with two assists. Since the 2017/18 Serie A season Calhanoglu is the third played to score directly from a corner kick, mirroring the efforts of Jose Callejon and Erick Pulgar.
Not any old player can score directly from a corner kick. The term given to such a strike is an 'Olympic goal,' a term coined way back in 1924. FIFA had just given the green light to a rule change allowing for goals to be directly scored from corners when an Argentine player Cesareo Onzari found the net straight from a corner kick in a friendly between Argentina and Uruguay. Given that Uruguay were the reigning Olympic champions at the time, Onzari's goal was given the title of 'Olympic goal.'
Fittingly Calhanoglu scored his Olympic goal at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. In doing so he joins the might of Christian Eriksen, Alvaro Recoba and Dejan Stankovic to have pulled off this feat.
Christian Eriksen scored this kind of goal in the Coppa Italia against Napoli: he deceived David Ospina with a wicked set piece in the semi-finals of the competition in June 2020.
Prior to the Dane's strike Alvaro Recoba also scored an Olympic goal for the club, finding the net against Empoli in a 3-1 win back in 2007. It was the last of his 72 goals for the Nerazzurri, having racked up a total of 261 appearances. It was a trademark left-footed beauty by the Uruguayan, which kicked off Inter's title celebrations for that season, sealing their fifteenth Scudetto.
A couple of years before Recoba's goal Dejan Stankovic also found the net in this way in 2004. In fact it was the Serb's first-ever goal for the Nerazzurri, and what's more, it came in the Milan derby. The midfielder's set piece left Milan's Brazilian keeper Dida with no chance as the Nerazzurri ran out 3-1 winners.