NATHAN COLLINS scored a wonderful goal last night against Ukraine and with that has received lavish praise from his fans and Ireland teammates.
The 21-year-old's first senior goal for his country is one that he will remember for the rest of his life.
At around the 31-minute mark, Collins intercepted Mykola Shaparenko’s wayward pass. One would think that Collins would opt for an easy choice and lay it off for a far more skilful opponent, no that wasn't the case.
UNBELIEVABLE from Nathan Collins! 😱😱
A marauding run from the @BurnleyOfficial man and a striker's finish with the outside of his boot to give @FAIreland the lead 🇮🇪
"Now that is something SPECIAL!" 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/vut4jwVuwM
— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) June 14, 2022
Collins decided to channel his inner Lionel Messi and take on the Ukraine defence. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk and Illia Zabarnyi were all dribbled past with ease.
This left Collins with the goalkeeper Dmytro Riznyk to beat. The Burnley defender beat Riznyk with the outside of his right foot to send the travelling Irish fans into raptures.
Dara O’Shea his teammate after said: “It was unbelievable, but I’m not surprised that he scored it. As soon as he picked the ball up, I knew that he was only going forward. The finish was spectacular, so fair play to him.
“Nathan is a talent and a credit to himself and is only getting better. He’s got to keep this momentum going, ride the wave that he is on, and God knows where it can take him.”
Speaking about the debut goal, the Irish defender said: “I need to watch it back.”
“I dunno, I haven’t watched it back yet, “I need time to watch it back to have a look at it. I took it in the moment, I took it in my stride, I saw what was open and I took it.
“If it was the last minute, it would be great because we could have got a win but I took a draw and it’s kind of frustrating,” he went on to say.
“I’d have gotten rid of the goal if we’d won, that’s the main thing but we took a draw, they’re a good team and we know where we are as a team as well.”
Nathan Collins just scored a worldie for Ireland. pic.twitter.com/oT0n1y00K1
— 𝘾𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙤𝙣𝙖 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙨 - aka Larry 🇺🇦 (@Cantona_Collars) June 14, 2022
Fans on social media offered their own take on the goal.
One user photoshopped Collin's head onto Maradona's head with the caption: 'Nathan Collins just scored a worldie for Ireland.'
Another said: 'Nathan Collins straight up decided “right lads I’m about to turn into Ronaldinho here” then scored that beauty.'
Collins was also compared to six-time Balon D'or winner Lionel Messi several times on Tuesday.
'Nathan Collins, the Leixlip Leo Messi', Nathan Collins getting Messi and George Best comparisons tears in my eyes, and Messi looks up to Nathan Collins were some of the takes from last night.
Ireland ended the game with a 1-1 draw and with that ended their Nations League campaign for the year.
If Collins could lead Ireland to World Cup or a European Championship by doing that every week that would be nice.