Morocco’s En-Nesyri, 15 centimeters from matching Cristiano Ronaldo’ epic leap against Manchester United in 2013

When Morocco’s En-Nesyri sensed there was a confusion between Diogo Jota and the Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa when the floaty cross came, he seized the moment. He stormed in and out-jumped Costa to crash-in a great header to win the game for Morocco. In the dug-out, Cristiano Ronaldo would shut his eyes and wince.

The jump was just 15 centimetres short of equalling the mark of Ronaldo, who in 2013, had jumped to 2.93 metres in a game for Real Madrid against Manchester United.

BeIn sports measured Nesyri’s leap to fame.

The Indian Express’s Sandip G, our man at the ground, would describe the events thus: “The height of Morocco’s ambition could be measured in the leap of Youssef-en-Neysri for their game-defining goal … Neysri craned every cell of his neck, strained every muscle of his face, reached as far as he could, and hung for a split second in the air to find the perfect placement. As Neysri collected the ball from the nets still shaking in the power of his header and kicked the ball into ether, the fans, a sea of red, as if the stands had grown heads and hands, jumped out of their seats and leapt in the air, hugging and kissing whoever was in the proximity of their arms.”

In 2018 world cup too, En-Nesyri had a famous header against Spain from a corner, their first corner in the match. He towered over the defenders to head-butt the ball into the net.

“Bullet header by En-Nesyri,” the commentator would scream that night. “Absolute delirium among the Moroccans”

Even the German legend Jurgen Klinsmann was moved to comment in his BBC newsletter: “Youssef En-Nesyri – well, I’m not sure anyone can jump as high as him. He looked like Michael Jordan!”

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