Independiente player traps ball between his shoulder blades in a live game, lives to tell the tale

Meet Élton Martins, midfielder for Independiente in Colombia. This weekend, Mr. Martins was subbed into his team’s 3-2 victory over Deportivo Cali with a mere 10 minutes left to play. Mr. Martins would like to inform you that 10 minutes isn’t nearly enough for him to shine. Ten minutes is but a glimpse into the Élton Martins Experience.

Luckily for you, Mr. Martins made the most of that time on the field, and pulled off a move — during a professional match, where people received salaries and there were TV cameras — that probably would have led to a fight in a pickup game.

It’s not every day that you see a player go full FIFA Street in the pro game. But not every player cares about the viewing customer like Élton Martins. Applaud the man. No, trapping the ball on his shoulders didn’t do a damn thing to help him or his team win the game, but so what? The soccer field is no place for cold utilitarianism. Mr. Martins came to put on a show!

Did he lose possession almost immediately after the trick? Sure. Is he lucky the defender didn’t say “Screw it, I’ll take the red” and wipe him out? You bet. But personal sacrifice is the key to any real art, and Élton Martins is here for the people.

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