CSKA Moscow's Pontus Wernbloom made a quick return on the club's recent investment and was labelled a hero by their usually quiet coach after scoring a last-gasp equaliser against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Swedish defensive midfielder was in the right place at the right time, lashing the ball home in the last minute of added time to help the hosts snatch a 1-1 first-leg draw in the last-16 tie.
"I'm not a real goalscorer, it's not my speciality, therefore this goal is a special one for me," Wernbloom said. "My main job is to break the other team's attacks. I usually come forward only when we take a corner or a free-kick near the goal, so you could say I was a bit lucky tonight."
CSKA's frugal owner, Yevgeny Giner, bought Wernbloom from the Dutch side AZ Alkmaar for a relatively modest €3m [£2.5m] last month. "I think scoring a goal in such a game, he had justified his purchase," Giner said. "Whatever we had paid for his transfer we already got it back with interest," he added.
The home side struggled to muster much of a threat, with the Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia, who had scored five goals in his five previous Champions League outings this season, being kept off the ball by the Spaniards' tight defence.
Wernbloom then came to the rescue to send a record 70,000-strong home crowd wild. While Wernbloom tried to stay out of the spotlight, the CSKA coach, Leonid Slutsky, singled out the 25-year-old for his performance. "He's one of our heroes," said Slutsky, who rarely praises individual players. "Not only because he scored a very important goal for us but also his play was of high quality throughout the match."
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