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Empoli Defender Mario Rui Kicks Ball in Own Face, Earns Free Kick (Video)
One of the things that makes soccer such a rewarding sport to watch is the myriad of different stratagems and tactics that can be rewarded on the field. But even given that, it was probably a surprise to almost everyone when Empoli defender Mario Rui was rewarded with a free kick after accidentally (or was it just a brilliant strategy?) hitting himself in the face with his own ball.
It happened during a particularly high-pressure moment of yesterday’s game between Empoli and AC Milan. In the heat of the moment, Mario Rui ended up kicking the ball directly into his own face. After that, it’s unclear why the ref thought he deserved a free kick, but he got one, perhaps out of understandable pity. I mean, come on, he hit himself in the face with a soccer ball.
You can watch the whole thing unfold again and again and again, thanks to the Vine below. Might hitting yourself in the face with the ball become the next big trend in soccer? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Here’s the video: