When panenkas go wrong … so ridiculously wrong

The UEFA Youth League is Europe’s best of the best in young talent. It is a place where even kids can pull of bicycle kicks, backheels, overhead flicks and 50-yard goals.

They can even do panenkas! Wait, no they can’t.

Oh, dear.

Oh, no.

Oh, you poor child.

Someone told Benfica’s 18-year-old Romario Balde that he was Andrea Pirlo. But he is not Pirlo. He is not a wizard, he cannot grow a beard, he cannot pull off a panenka.

This miss came with Benfica up, 1-0. But Shakhtar would later equalize, then send the match to penalties, where the Ukrainians eliminated the Portuguese. And what did Balde do when it was his turn to take a kick in penalties? Absolutely nothing, because he had been subbed off my then.

Balde needs a hug. But not from me because I haven’t stopped laughing yet.


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