Sportsmanship, be it in any sport, is cherished because of its rarity. In football, diving and cheating are extremely common, which makes those seldom moments of respect and sportsmanship ones to remember.
5. Messi says “NO” to free kick
Lionel Messi Second Goal
Osasuna 0 Barcelona 3
— Total90Minutes (@Total90Minutes) December 11, 2016
What’s there to be said about Lionel Messi? Footballer extraordinaire, Messi is enthralling to watch when he is on the ball. However, he just gave football fans more reasons to respect and love him with a brief moment of sportsmanship during the match vs Osasuna.
Cameras showed Messi asking the referee not to give a free kick after he went down too easily without enough contact.
4. Romelu Lukaku comforts Benfica’s young goalkeeper
— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) October 18, 2017
Mile Svilar, the youngest goalkeeper to ever start a UEFA Champions League match at the age of 18, made his debut against a high-flying Manchester United side for Benfica in Gameweek 3 of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League. But Svilar was off his line and made errors resulting in 1-0 Man United win.
At the end of the game, Lukaku gave the fans a moment to remember as he walked to his fellow countryman Svilar and consoled him. “Yeah, it was nice,” Svilar said after the defeat. “He [Lukaku] just said that I don’t have to worry, continue to work and it will be okay.”
3. Francis Kone in Fernando Torres’ head injury
— tytsports (@tytsports) March 12, 2017
In a La Liga fixture between Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna in March, Fernando Torres was knocked out cold due to a clash of heads with Deportivo’s Alejandro Bergantinos. It was horrific to watch as his head bounced off the turf, rendering him unconscious right away. It was thanks to his teammates his teammates Gabi and Sime Vrsaljko if he never swallowed his tongue.
Similarly, another inspiring human being on the football ground is Slovacko’s Togolese player Francis Kone, playing in the Czech First League. Not new to saving lives on the football field, Kone saved the life of opposition player Bohemians 1905’s goalkeeper, Martin Berkovec.
2. Felix Bastians rejects penalty when 1-0 down
In a match in the German Bundesliga between Darmstadt and Vfl Bochum, Aytac Sulu gave Darmstadt the lead in the 24th minute of the game. A few minutes later, Bochum wingback Felix Bastians was allegedly brought down after a marauding run into the box for which the team was awarded a penalty by the referee.
An act of honesty and true sportsmanship followed; Bastians went to the referee and acknowledged that he had simulated a fall inside the box; then asked the referee to cancel the penalty decision.
1. Borussia Dortmund supporters and AS Monaco fans
Prior to the Champions League quarter-final between AS Monaco and Borussia Dortmund; three blasts damaged the Bundesliga side’s team bus, forcing the fixture to be moved to the next day. Marc Bartra suffered a hand fracture in the incident; it turned out to be a scary evening for the team.
Dortmund fans took the initiative to take in Monaco supporters into their homes which was lauded. Supporters of both clubs posted various images and messages to Twitter; after Dortmund’s official Twitter account called on their own fans to help out their Monaco counterparts, using the hashtag #bedforawayfans.