Thierry Henry has praised Erik Lamela’s ‘mastery’ of the ‘rabona’ after the Tottenham player’s extraordinary goal in the north London derby.
The midfielder gave Spurs the lead with a stunning piece of individual brilliance, wrapping his left foot behind his stationary right leg to curl the ball first-time beyond Bernd Leno into the bottom corner.
Despite Spurs going on to lose the match, the strike has been hailed as one of the goals of the season and touted as a potential winner of the Puskas Award, which is given to the best goal in a calendar year.
Putting his Arsenal loyalties to one side, Gunners legend Thierry Henry expressed his admiration for Lamala’s effort and praised the player for his work on the training ground to pull off the trick-shot.
“Repetition creates habit,” Henry told Sky Sports. “He must have tried that so many times, we all remember the goal he scored like that before from outside the box.
“But at that particular moment, any other player would have bent it on his right foot, taken it on his left foot, but he’s calm and composed because he does know he’s mastered that trick.”
Lamela previously scored a similar goal for Spurs in a Europa League match against Greek side Asteras Tripolis in 2014.
On that occasion, the Argentine pulled off the trick from the edge of the penalty area as Spurs hammered their opponents 5-1.
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Henry believes this shows the goal against Arsenal was no accident and the ‘rabona’ is now almost second nature to Lamela.
“Why? Because you do it so much in training,” he added. “You picture that gesture so much and you do it so many times that it becomes a habit.
“Because he does it so many times, the brain sends a message to his legs because it becomes something he does normally.”