We haven't reached the group stage but Dries Mertens just scored UCL Goal of the Year

Scoring with a volley from the top of the box straight off a corner kick is one of the game's most audacious tactics. It's pure poetry when it comes off (David Beckham to Paul Scholes, anyone?), but its execution requires pinpoint service and the perfect finish. The margin for error is minuscule, and if either the corner or volley isn't flawless, then you're simply hoping the shot flies into Row Z and you're not getting torn apart on a counter going the other way. 

Or so the traditional logic has always gone.

But on Wednesday in a Champions League second qualifying round match between Galatasaray and Lithuania's Žalgiris, Dries Mertens showed — for I think the first time ever — that poor deliver from the corner can be overcome if you too are blessed with otherworldly technique.

Yes, the 36-year-old has still got it. 

The corner forced the Belgian to both backtrack and sprint centrally, but he arrived to meet the ball fully 25 yards from goal and walloped an effort with the inside of his right foot that spun inside the post with pure violence. 

We're still over a month away from the start of the group stage and we've already got our Goal of the Tournament.

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