'Defies physics': Cristiano Ronaldo 'sorcery' stuns football world

Cristiano Ronaldo will go down in history as one of, if not the greatest header of a football in the game's history.

The Juventus star's towering header clinched a dramatic 2-1 win over Sampdoria that sends the Italian champions to the top of the Serie A table.

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Ronaldo met Alex Sandro's looping cross with an incredible leap and header just before half-time to put Juve on 42 points, three ahead of Inter ahead of their match with struggling Genoa on Saturday.

The Portuguese has always possessed a phenomenal leap that makes him one of the most dominant aerial threats in world football.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo scored an extraordinary header against Sampdoria. Pic: Getty

However, Ronaldo may have even outdone himself with a goal that has sent the football world into meltdown.

Images show Ronaldo's extraordinary jump and barely fathomable hang time that left him suspended high above his hapless Sampdoria defender.

The bullet header from the Juve superstar left Sampdoria keeper Emil Audero with no chance as it cannoned into the back of the net.

Viewers were left stunned by the moment of magic, with some calling it the "greatest header of all time".

Ronaldo’s goal was so incredible that it overshadowed teammate Paulo Dybala’s superb volley to open the scoring for Juventus.

The Argentine met Alex Sandro's raking cross in the 19th minute with the most delicate of volleys, caressing the ball past Emil Audero from the edge of the box.

Maurizio Sarri's side had so much of the ball they already looked home and dry but they failed to capitalise on their possession and were punished by Gianluca Caprari 10 minutes before the break, the Italian pouncing after Sandro was caught on the ball to crash his finish past Buffon.

However Ronaldo soon sparked into action, first fizzing in a cross that both Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala just only just failed to get contact on.

The Portugal forward then put the away side back in front in the final minute of the half with his sixth goal in five matches in all competitions.

The 34-year-old twice came close to a second in the dying seconds, first when he was ruled to be in an offside position after latching on to Aaron Ramsey's through ball and tapping past an onrushing Audero.

He then flashed a curling shot just wide in added time as Juve closed out what was a tight match against Claudio Ranieri's side, who sit just two points above the relegation zone.

Buffon sets remarkable Juve landmark

The win, gained early in the week ahead of Sunday's Italian Super Cup clash with Lazio in Riyadh, was a further source of happiness for Buffon, who made his 647th Serie A appearance in place of the injured Wojciech Szczesny.

Gianluigi Buffon holds the appearance record for Juventus. Pic: Getty

The 41-year-old also became Juve's all-time record appearance maker on 479 matches, one ahead of Alessandro Del Piero.

Buffon began his professional career as a teenager in 1995 at Parma, where he won the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia in 1999 before moving to Juve two years later.

He has won nine Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia four times in Turin but has failed to conquer Europe despite reaching two Champions League finals under previous coach Massimiliano Allegri.

"I'm really happy with the result... It was a really good goal also because it was the one that won the three points," said Ronaldo, who earlier in the season was off-form amid injury concerns.

"Like I said before I'd had pain in my knee for around a month, but now I'm OK and now I want to help Juventus win trophies."

With AFP