Is This Sparta? West Ham Striker Gets Full Speed Karate Kick To The Gut
August 15 / Tanya Ray Fox / SportsGrid
For every idiot person on this planet that says that soccer is not a contact sport, there is a terrifying vine of a soccer player suffering a horrifying injury. Well you can add another one to the top of that list because in a Premier League match between West Ham and Leicester City on Saturday, a man was nearly impaled.
Leicester City has been red hot as of late and apparently West Ham goalkeeper Adrian was hashtag over it. With the match quickly approaching the final minute of extra time, he went after a loose ball outside the box with the frenzied vigor of a man with nothing to lose and paid dearly with a red card.
But he did not pay nearly as much as Jamie Vardy, the Leicester City striker that was on the unfortunate end of his cleat.
There is so much going on there that I can't even figure out what hurt Vardy worse. The cleats? The momentum of a world class athlete running full speed and nailing him in the gut? Getting the wind knocked out of him before even hit the ground? That guy is going to have cleat marked bruises on his abs for an unacceptably long time.
Now to be fair, in order for a red car to be handed out the illegal contact has to be intentional. In real time, it looked anything but intentional as you can tell that Adrian was looking for the ball most of the way. Unfortunately in the slow-mo on the Vine, you can see that he misses the mark so atrociously that it's hard to tell what the hell was going on. I mean he's a goalkeeper. His only job is judge where the ball is going to be. It's especially hard to give him the benefit of the doubt when he's that far out from his goal.
In my humble soccer-loving opinion it could have been a yellow card, but intent becomes blurry when you full on "This is Sparta" a dude as the ball ends up nowhere near you. It's tough to fault someone for red carding any type of behavior on the pitch that looks like an exact reenactment of this: