In the wake of Luiz Adriano and Shakhtar Donetsk's poor show of fair play in the Champions League last night it gave a great excuse to highlight one of the more extraordinary moments of fair play in recent memory involving current Spur defender Jan Vertonghen.
Last night we saw what has to be one of the worst cases of poor sportsmanship in football history. As Shakhtar Donetsk were trailing to FC Nordsjaelland in their Champions League group tie the Ukrainian side were gifted the drop-ball in order to return it to the opposite goalkeeper as is the usual custom of European sportsmanship in the game.
However Luiz Adriano decided he would ignore such fair play and continued to round an obviously helpless goalkeeper before sliding the ball into the back of the net. It bore remarkable similarities to an infamous FA Cup moment from Arsenal when Kanu ran on to a Ray Parlour throw-in intended for the Sheffield United keeper before setting up a goal.
Kanu had a pretty reasonable excuse in that such practice was not common in Holland and Italy prior to his move to the UK and he had not yet encountered this show of fair play so was simply oblivious to the fact he had done anything wrong until after the goal had been scored.
Luiz Adriano has played for Shakhtar for five years and in that time would undoubtedly played in many a European game and surely would have encountered this phenomenon before. He cheated pure and simple. In recent weeks he has been linked with a move to Arsenal but should Shakhtar and the Brazilian learned a lesson from Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen.
In 2006 when the Belgian was just a baby-faced 19-year-old he scored his first goal for Ajax in a cup match with Cambuur. When given the duty of passing the ball back to his opposite keeper he inadvertently over hit his back-pass attempt which sailed past the hopeless keeper and into the back of the net to make the score 3-0. Despite some joke celebrations and a look of stunned amazement on the face of Vertonghen there was a more pressing issue as Ajax were immediately upset at what had transpired.
The result; at the centre the Ajax players remained stationary and allowed Cambuur to grab a goal back to make it 3-1, although they did so with some difficulty.
Here is the extraordinary moment in action…
Should Shakhtar have let Nordsjaelland grab an immediate goal back?
image: © hollidaypics