Joel Veltman Speaks Out About 'Unsportsmanlike' Trick Against Sparta Rotterdam
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Sportsmanlike behaviour may be noble and sometimes even heroic but, let's face it, it can be very fucking funny when a footballer decides they'd rather be a complete shithouse in order to gain an unfair advantage.
Diego Costa has turned shithousery into an art form during his career, as have the likes of Luis Suarez and Marco Materazzi but over the weekend, Ajax's Joel Veltman may have just topped all of them with his antics against Sparta Rotterdam.
In footage that has since gone viral, Veltman pretended to stop play in order for injured teammate Bertrand Traore to receive treatment. This move conned Sparta winger Ivan Calero into believing the Ajax man was putting the ball out of play, but instead Veltman decided, hilariously, to play on while his opponent's back was turned in order to sprint down the wing and fire a cross into the Sparta box.
The trick which, let's face it, was fucking brilliant, unsurprisingly drew the ire of the fun police on social media:
Joel Veltman stupid shit player !- Kafamagöre (@kafamagor3) February 13, 2017
:camera: Joel Veltman: 1 Fair Play: 0 https://t.co/itXTmhmq2g- Toscano Irriverente (@Toscanoirrivere) February 13, 2017
@joel_veltman You Need To Look Up The Word 'Sportsmanship' in the dictionary. Absolute disgrace.- cherrypie#swfc (@matt1867) February 13, 2017
However, when asked about his actions by Metro after the match, the Netherlands international didn't see the big deal and (rightfully) thought the snide piece of skill was a perfectly acceptable way of trying to help Ajax secure victory (which they did 2-0).
"I was just being clever. Bertrand went down and I thought to myself 'I am going to use this to my advantage'. I pretended to kick the ball out of play, but when my opponent looked behind him, I just went past him instead.
"I know that it was perhaps not the most beautiful thing to do, but it was just something clever, nothing more. I can have a good laugh about it.
"My team-mates told me in the dressing room that they would have kicked me hard had I pulled off something like this against one of them... What would I have done had my cross resulted in a goal? A goal is a goal!
:white_check_mark: Eredivisie: 112- AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) February 12, 2017
:white_check_mark: KNVB-Beker: 9
:white_check_mark: Johan Cruijff Schaal: 1
:white_check_mark: Europese wedstrijden: 28@joel_veltman :arrow_forward: 150 officiële duels in #Ajax 1 :clap: pic.twitter.com/pbsdTbDP24
"I think people are exaggerating all this a bit. It was not like I found myself one-on-one with the goalkeeper after it.
"What I would have done in a situation like this? I always wait until the ball is out of play. I would not be standing there and looking behind me. That was not the brightest thing to do. But let's not turn this into something big. It is better to laugh about it than turn it into something big. I will not do it again, also because I don't think it will work again."
Personally, I think it's a shame the move didn't end with a goal that was celebrated by Bertrand Traore nipping up from the turf ala Shawn Michaels, completely uninjured and somersaulting over Veltman's head. Maybe next time, lads eh?