Perfecting a specific skill to such an extent you become synonymous with it is about as good as it gets for a footballer.
Think of Johan Cruyff, the man author David Winner dubbed “Pythagoras in boots”, and you think of the Cruyff turn, a trick entirely befitting of that moniker.
Think of Arjen Robben and you think of his endless quest to cut in from the right flank and curl a left-footed shot into the far corner, over and over and over again until he retired, and no doubt over and over and over again now he’s come back out of retirement.
Think of Jose Callejon and, well, you probably won’t think of much. That nice Napoli kit, perhaps? Or maybe those times he was pretty handy on FIFA and Football Manager?
We’ll hold our own hands up and admit we probably couldn’t have told you much about Callejon either, other than it never really happened for him at Real Madrid before being part of that wonderful Napoli side under Maurizio Sarri that fell agonisingly short of the Scudetto.
Quite frankly, we all owe Callejon an apology. The Spain international’s Napoli contract has come to an end after seven years at the club, and only now have we discovered he had his own signature move to match the hypnotism of Robben’s repetition all along.
Sure, ‘darting to the back post at the perfect moment’ isn’t exactly the sexiest of trademarks, but a compilation of Callejon scoring the same goal time after time for Napoli has appeared on Reddit and the regularity with which he managed to fool defenders with such a simple piece of play gets increasingly impressive after every time.
As for the volleys he often deploys to rifle the ball home after making such space, that’s the good stuff.