WARSAW, Poland – Controlling the ball 12 yards out, David Silva was faced with a seemingly impenetrable wall of three Ireland defenders blocking his route to goal.
What the Spain playmaker produced was a magical finish that is likely to go down as one of the best at this year's European Championship.
Silva placed the ball past one defender, through the legs of two others, Sean St. Ledger and Richard Dunne, and into the bottom corner of the net past the dive by goalkeeper Shay Given. It was Spain's second goal in a 4-0 win that lifted the team to the top of Group C.
Whether he meant both "nutmegs" — the art of kicking the ball through the legs of an opposing player — is open to question.
"I was lucky to score it," said Silva, with humility that is typical of the current crop of Spain players.
Silva has already demonstrated his sublime touch this tournament by unlocking Italy's defense with a deft flick to set up Cesc Fabregas' tying goal in a 1-1 draw with Italy on Sunday.
His finish against Ireland brought back memories of the improvised goal scored by Ronaldinho for Barcelona against Chelsea in a Champions League match in 2005.
Surrounded by four Chelsea defenders at the edge of the area, the Brazil forward shimmied before poking a shot with the outside of his foot into the top corner, a goal recently described by referee great Pierluigi Collina as the best he'd ever seen.
Silva also created time and space for himself with a shimmy.
"I had the defender in front of me," Silva said, "and I dummied and it turned out well in the end."