'You expect it from Ronaldo': ex-United star Schmeichel hails McGree stunner
Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel has lauded Riley McGree's outrageous scorpion kick as worthy of Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons as the young Australian vies with the Juventus superstar for the FIFA Puskas Award.
McGree's stroke of genius in last season's Hyundai A-League Finals Series has sensationally earned him a place among 10 nominees for the prestigious honour, which recognises the most beautiful goals scored in world football.
He will face stiff competition from Ronaldo's blockbusting bicycle kick in April, while Gareth Bale's similar strike in the UEFA Champions League final is considered a strong contender.
But former goalkeeper Schmeichel believes the spotlight should be shone on McGree's sublime effort for being completely unique.
"That is an incredible goal," the retired Denmark international said.
"I like it when such an important award like this has room for [different types] of goals.
"You put a ball behind you, then you run that way and at the same time you flick it with your back heel? That requires some skill.
"You expect that from Ronaldo.
"An overhead kick, we've seen this before. It's brilliant, but it's Ronaldo. This is what he's doing, that's what Bale is doing.
"[McGree's] is just an incredible goal."
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While admitting Ronaldo's worldwide profile gives him a head start in the voting, Schmeichel is confident exposure through the Puskas Award can benefit the Hyundai A-League as a whole.
"First of all it creates attention and attention is always good," he said. "It brings a lot of important stuff with it – sponsorship for the club, or attention for the league.
"We see it every year with all these goals being scored.
"I think the problem [McGree] has is he's got a smaller following Ronaldo has. Ronaldo's reach is different. All he has to do is use his social media to get the votes.
"But fingers crossed people will look through [and it will bring] all the fame and fortune."
The winner will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards event in London on September 24.