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Hidden talent

Zé reveals unsuspected heading prowess

Some moments in a footballing career are rare enough to be instantly memorable even years after the event. Headed goals from Zé Roberto probably belong in that category, as there have only been three so far. The 33-year-old nodded home the winner in Brazil’s 4-3 victory over hosts Mexico in the 1999 Confederations Cup final, the opener when Leverkusen beat Cottbus 2-0 in the Bundesliga back in March 2002 – and most recently, Bayern’s equaliser in Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Olympique Lyon.

“I occasionally score with my head in training,” the 1.72m (5 ft 8 in) midfielder reported, “but it’s a very long time since I managed it in a match.“ The hugely successful and technically gifted player, normally better known as a provider than a scorer, obviously reserves his hitherto undiscovered talent for special occasions.

“You don’t see headed goals from Zé Roberto every day,” Uli Hoeneß agreed after a “fine European evening“ at the Allianz Arena. The 33-year-old Ze’s first strike of term enabled Bayern to retain top spot in Group F, two points clear of Lyon and Fiorentina.