Talk about needling your opponent – a defender has confessed to actually poking an opposing striker with a needle in an Argentinian cup game.
Federico Allende, who plays for Pacifico de General Alvear in Argentina’s lower leagues, took a jab at Estudiantes players during his team’s shock 3-2 upset victory.
If you look closely, you can actually see what appears to be the needle gripped in Allende’s left outstretched hand in this picture.
But there’s not much doubt about it – the player has coughed to doing it.
“I kept piercing the Estudiantes strikers with a needle,” he said in a radio interview. “We know that top division players don’t like contact, they don’t like if we waste time or if we play dirty. So that was the way to do it. Football is like that. Football is for the clever.”
Allende is thought to have hidden two needles in his shinpads.
Estudiantes striker Juan Otero complained he was poked four times, and that he told the referee who didn’t believe him. One of Estudiantes’ stars is ex-Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron.
Adding to the radio interview, Allende said: “I completely nullified Otero. He must hate me.” But Allende is likely to be the one on the sharp end of the controversy. Club president Hector Monca said he will “expel him from the club, adding the incident has left everyone “devastated”.