Vukcevic takes his shirt off, lets the side down
Has there ever been a more stupid and pointless sending off than Simon Vukcevic’s dismissal for Sporting against Fiorentina in the Champions League play-off round on Tuesday night?
The 23-year-old Montenegro striker, booked for getting involved in a petty squabble with an opponent after 12 minutes, then scored after 58 minutes to put Sporting level at 1-1 after Fiorentina had taken an early lead.
Its impossible to know what went through his head next. Running back with his team mates he took off his shirt in celebration and despite putting it back on a few seconds later was shown a second yellow card and then a red by Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai who gave him a look as if to say, “Sorry mate, rules are rules.”
Not only did that leave Sporting with 10 men for over half-an-hour it also means the Montenegro international will be banned for next week’s second leg in Italy, and that arguably could cost them the tie which is up for grabs after the sides battled to a 2-2 draw in Lisbon.
I have never ever understood why players take their shirts off to celebrate a goal. I think its disrespectful to the shirt, your team mates, to your fans and the club that pays your wages.
It’s an utterly pointless gesture and when the authorities decided a few years ago it was a bookable offence, most players saw sense and stopped doing it.
What made it even more ridiculous was that Vukcevic looked surprised when he was red carded. You ought to read the rules, mate.
PHOTO: Sporting’s Simon Vukcevic (L) celebrates with Miguel Veloso after his goal against Fiorentina during their Champions League playoff first leg at Alvalade stadium in Lisbon August 18, 2009. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro