David Luiz can only explain the technique behind his game-clinching free kick in the World Cup quarterfinal win over Colombia as a product of genetics.
Lining up from 35 meters out, the 27-year-old Brazilian side-footed the ball with his right boot, smashing it over a wall of four Colombians and beyond the reach of goalkeeper David Ospina.
It gave the Brazilians a 2-0 lead in the 69th minute, and the tournament hosts held on to win 2-1 to reach the semifinals.
Asked about it later, Luiz gestured with his hands out diagonally in different directions and joked that it represented how his feet were when he was little.
“I think it’s genetic. I was born with legs like that,” Luiz said, spreading his hands apart like two feet sticking out toward opposite sides. “In Brazil, they call it ‘10-to-two’.”
Luiz celebrated the goal by leaping over the corner flag to approach the noisy Brazil fans who packed Arena Castelao.
He acknowledged it would be almost impossible to repeat the free kick.
“Today it was great because I hit the ball at the exact (right) point,” he said. “You can (try) to hit it like that and it’ll take you all day. I am so happy because I can help my team with this.”
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said Luiz had been studying free kick videos leading up to the Friday’s match, concentrating on the technique used by a now-retired specialist at Brazilian club.
“I think he watched many videos,” Scolari said. “We had a player who played in Corinthians, Marcelinho Carioca. He used to kick like that — like no one else.”