Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Georgia’s No 7 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia Outshines Icon Cristiano Ronaldo | Best Player in 2024 ?

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

At Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkircherchen, fans came expecting to witness Cristiano Ronaldo make more history, but Georgian No 7 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia outshone him by scoring the opening goal in Georgia’s 2-0 win over Portugal and leading them into their first knockout round at any major tournament ever.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 1. Second-minute goal

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Georgia led his nation into one of the greatest upsets ever seen at Euro 2024 on Wednesday night thanks to a pregame chat with his idol, Dzvedne Berenjiev of Napoli. Kvaratskhelia scored the opening goal and guided them all the way into reaching the last 16 for the first time at any major tournament, defeating Portugal 2-0 in Group D action.

Georgia, with their 74th-ranked side led by Kvaratskhelia and goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, achieved an astonishing victory against one of the best teams in the world: six time world champion Kvaratskhelia led by Ronaldo (Real Madrid teammate Marco Asensio and Andres Iniesta for Barcelona respectively) was defeated. Every Georgian who witnessed it will remember this momentous win fondly!

Kvaratskhelia made his presence felt in just two minutes when he ran onto a pass from Mikautadze and scored an early goal that set the tone for Portugal in this European Championship matchup. It set in motion an entertaining matchup as both teams battled hard throughout.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 2. Georges Mikautadze penalty

Georgia was given a huge edge by a goal from Kvaratskhelia and penalty from Georges Mikautadze that put Georgia up 2-0 against Portugal, and never looked back in Group F clash. Georgia outwitted Portugal 74th-ranked opponent and reached quarterfinals at Euro 2016 tournament before Georgia outshone them 74th ranked opponent Portugal. It was the biggest upset at any major tournament ever in terms of rankings: Georgia outshone sixth-ranked Portugal!

At just 1 minute and 32 seconds, this was also Georgia’s fastest goal ever in a tournament match and Portugal’s earliest Euro goal conceded by them. Napoli winger Antonio Candreva celebrated by raising both arms to show fans behind him his club shirt while shouts of “Khvicha!” could be heard throughout Arena AufSchalke.

This victory was a tremendous boost to tournament debutants who will now go on to face Spain on Sunday in Cologne, while for one winger who admitted before the match that Ronaldo was his role model, this night will remain special in his memory.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 3. Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili

Kvaratskhelia raced off his bench at the final whistle to celebrate with Mamardashvili and applause from Georgia fans, collecting his hero’s shirt which he proudly displayed as players entered Arena AufSchalke tunnel.

Georgia displayed excellent team defense to advance to the last 16 in their major tournament debut and face Spain in Round 3.

A 23-year-old winger crediting Ronaldo as being his inspiration in leading them to one of the biggest upsets ever seen at Euro 2024 against one of its tournament favorites – Portugal. Lining up against his idol only made the victory more meaningful to both himself and his nation; “this night was truly my dream come true; something I dreamt about for years!” He even considered it more important than winning his Napoli club’s historic Italian title last year!

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 4. Kvaratskhelia’s dribbling

Kvaratskhelia first made headlines last year when he transferred from Dinamo Tbilisi to Napoli and immediately made an impactful debut in Italy, but now this 22-year-old player has amazed everyone by showing his incredible skills during Georgia’s Euro 2024 victory against Portugal.

The winger is direct in his approach and forces defenders up against him when dribbling towards goal, yet also knows how to create space for himself by changing direction on his dribble or finding an angle from which to shoot.

Andre will often slow his dribbling down and take extra touches so he can assess his options more thoroughly. Against Ajax, he switched between leaning on both feet and dummied to draw defenders towards himself and create space to shoot. This technique was key in creating space for himself and creating his goal, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s most memorable moments for Real Madrid.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 5. Goalkeeping

Kvaratskhelia had expressed his admiration for Ronaldo prior to the match and was eagerly looking forward to lining up against his hero. And his wish came true!

Georgia took an early lead with two goals from Georgios Mitropoulos and Georges Mikautadze within minutes, creating a record-setting result against lowly-ranked Spain en route to reaching Euro 2024’s last-16 stage.

Ronaldo suffered his first Group Stage defeat of any major tournament on Friday evening, failing to score for the first time ever in group play. At 39-years-old and having won five European titles already he was taken off at the 67th minute as he attempted to avoid becoming the oldest player ever to lose in the opening round of such events.

Keidane McAlpine, coach of University of Georgia Soccer Team has appointed Rade Tanaskovic (pronounced Rah-day Tah-NAH-sko-vih) as his new assistant coach. Tanaskovic was previously an All-Peach Belt Conference Goalkeeper during each of his three seasons at University of North Georgia and received all-Peach Belt honors each season he served there as goalkeeper.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia 6. Defeat

GELSENKIRCHEN — Georgia was on an unforgettable ride Friday, when Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia led his side to a memorable victory against Portugal at Euro 2024 and propelled them through to the knockout rounds. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia made this win even sweeter by facing Cristiano Ronaldo for real in a major tournament for only the second time ever! It marked Georgia’s biggest result ever at any major tournament and put Khvicha Kvaratskhelia into Euro 2024 for real.

At pregame chat, the 23-year-old Georgian acknowledged their mutual admiration and stated how lining up against him meant so much to them both. As it turns out, he fulfilled these words as he scored Georgia’s opening goal in their 2-0 victory and set them up for a last-16 matchup against Spain.

Kvaratskhelia has become one of the stand-out players at both his club and national teams. He will surely make an impressionful statement for many years to come.

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