Harry Winks scored the third longest-range Europa League strike ever to end his Tottenham goal drought in style – but then admitted he didn’t even mean it.
The England midfielder lobbed Ludogorets Razgrad goalkeeper Plamen Iliev from 53.7 yards for his first Spurs goal in almost two years as they beat the Bulgarians 4-0.
Winks was all smiles and laughs as he celebrated the goal and pointed to himself, sparking a debate on social media over whether he meant it or not.
As Winks came out to speak to BT Sport after the game, we all expected him to claim he meant it…
“I’d love to sit here and say that I did, but I’ve got to be honest and say no,” the England midfielder admitted. “I saw Gaz [Bale] run and overhit it. I’ll take it. It has been a while.”
Manager Mourinho, with a huge smile on his face, said: “He’s too honest. I’m not happy with him. I told him a goal like that you have to say you want to do it.”
The Portuguese went even further in another interview. “If it was me I would have said I did [mean it] and won the Puskas goal [award for the world’s best goal].”
Former Spurs striker Peter Crouch in the BT studio said: “Fair play. I know players who would claim that without a doubt. It was the way he looked up and spotted Bale’s run. He obviously looked for that. But it did look amazing from that angle – it does look like he meant it from there.”
Owen Hargreaves added: “Don’t tell anyone! Pretend like you meant it.”
That was the third longest-range goal in the 11 years of the Europa League – and remarkably they have all come this season.
Winks joins a long list of Premier League players to score long-range goals…
David Beckham most famously scored from the halfway line for Manchester United against Wimbledon in the goal which helped make his name.
Xabi Alonso managed two goals from his own half for Liverpool, against Newcastle in the Premier League and Luton in the FA Cup.
Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic earned a place in the Guinness World Records book for the longest goal scored in football – a 91.9m kick forward against Southampton in 2013. Fellow stopper Paul Robinson, for Spurs against Watford in 2008, scored one from 80 yards.