Dimitri Payet sent Twitter into meltdown when he scored a blistering goal in France’s 2-1 win over Romania in the opening game of the 2016 European Championship.
With minutes of the contest remaining, the 29-year-old picked the ball up 20 yards from goal and let fly with his left foot, the ball soaring into the top corner.
The mercurial midfielder pulled the strings for France, papering over the cracks of what was a testing game for Didier Deschamps’ team.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Olivier Giroud’s header in the 57th minute set Les Bleus on their way to a seemingly routine win but Bogdan Stancu levelled the tie eight minutes later from the penalty spot.
Patrice Evra’s clumsy trip allowed the Romania striker to score from 12 yards, and it would take until the 89th minute before Payet regained the lead for France.
But it was worth the wait, as Twitter will tell you.
It means France’s European Championship gets off to the perfect start. A nation which has suffered so much heartache in the past year didn’t care how their team put a smile back on the population’s face, just so long as they managed to do so.
And they did, through Payet’s spectacular goal.
Deschamps’ side is considered the favourites to win the tournament, owing to a talented roster that includes Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Anthony Martial, and, though the French boss knows his team must improve if they are to taste success for the first time in 16 years, it was important for them to get off to a good start.
They take on Albania on Wednesday in a game that should provide little trouble.
The action continues on Saturday with Albania taking on Switzerland, Wales playing Slovakia and England and Russia going head-to-head.
Plenty more action like we saw tonight and this tournament will be a good’un.