Italian striker Ciro Immobile was under heavy fire last week after many fans thought he was clearly faking an injury during the team’s match against Belgium.
Immobile went down (and stayed down) after Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen made a little contact with him near the edge of the box. But when teammate Nicolo Barrella fired a ball into the back of the net shortly after, Ciro Immobile was quick to spring to his feet to celebrate.
— SI Soccer (@si_soccer) July 2, 2021
According to The Sun, Ciro Immobile has admitted that his Italy teammates have been trolling him on the apparent fake job. But veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci had Immobile’s back when he was asked on the incident.
“Ciro felt contact and he went down, but the joy and excitement of such an important goal means that you don’t experience any more pain.
“We all had a bit of a laugh about that and took the mickey out of him. But that was the end of it.
“Ciro is a wonderful guy, a very upstanding man, and things like that can happen on the pitch.”
Italy boss Roberto Mancini was quick to point to Ciro Immobile’s resume for anyone who wants to question the striker’s antics on the pitch.
“Ciro Immobile is still the proud recipient of the European Golden Shoe and I think he has scored more goals than anyone else in the last few years.
“Often in a major tournament like this it is the most maligned player who can often prove to be the match winner. So we are fairly relaxed on that score.”
Italy will face off against Spain in the Euro 2020 semifinals on Tuesday.
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