YOU won’t see many pieces of braver or quicker thinking in any football match than this – let alone stoppage time in the World Cup final.
Argentina’s Cristian Romero wowed fans as he used his THIGH while on the ground to steer the ball to keeper Emiliano Martinez – and avoid a backpass.
ReutersCristian Romero was on his knees to nudGe the ball back to Emiliano Martinez[/caption]
AlamyRomero had a huge tussle with France hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe[/caption]
Lively France sub Randal Kolo Muani was inches behind the duo – scenting blood and a dramatic winner.
But Tottenham centre-back Romero was on his knees as he calmly nudged the ball to the outstretched arms of Aston Villa’s Martinez.
That intervention summed up an astonishing climax to normal time.
Lionel Messi’s penalty and assist for Angel Di Maria’s fine strike left Argentina 2-0 up after a dominant first half.
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And France remained second best until Kylian Mbappe notched a late spot-kick and brilliant equaliser.
Social media applauded Romero’s cool head in the most heated of moments.
One fan posted: “Insanely quick thinking from Romero to thigh the ball to Martínez to avoid the pass back – that was underrated.
Another observer asked: “Back pass not a thing any more?”
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But that prompted the instant response: “I wondered that too the other day but off the thigh apparently isn’t, which makes what Romero did super intelligent in the circumstances.”
Messi later reacted almost as smartly to put Argentina in front from a rebound early in the second period of extra time.
But Mbappe soon completed his hat-trick from the spot.