Japanese high school's 'Ring a Ring o Roses' free-kick routine is going viral for all the wrong reasons
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We are just three days into 2023 and a high school football team in Japan have already pulled off the worst free-kick routine of the year. Step forward, the 'Ring a Ring o' Roses' move.
Takagawa Gakuen High School, a side who have been known to experiment when it comes to set-pieces, were 2-0 down against Higashiyama at this month's Japan High School Soccer Tournament when the bizarre set-piece took place.
As you can see in the footage below, three Takagawa players can be seen standing next to the ball as the opposition prepare to defend the free-kick.
Then, in a bizarre sequence, the trio skip in a circle while holding hands for a solid few seconds.
It's fair to say the routine didn't go to plan. After running in a line to distract their opponent, the third player eventually decided to shoot but the ball trickled out of play.
One fan reacted to clip by saying: "My dream is to get paid to draw up plays like this for a professional sport team," while another commented: "Ted Lasso Season 3, 2023."
A third wrote: "What in the Ring a Ring a Roses is this?"
The All Japan High School Soccer Tournament of Japan, which is commonly known as 'Winter Kokuritsu', is an annual nationwide high school featuring 48 teams.
The two-week tournament takes place in December and January, and is the largest scale amateur sport event in Japan. So there's no hiding when a set-piece doesn't go to plan.
That being said, during last year's tournament, Takagawa Gakuen High School managed to pull off a far more successful free-kick routine when they faced Seiryo High School.
The amateur side secured a 4-2 win that day, with one of their goals being a superb header from a set-piece that was labelled 'genius' by many.
As two players stood over the ball, the rest of the attackers skipped in a circle while holding hands for a few seconds – just like they did against Higashiyama this week.
They soon rushed forward to take up different positions, with the Seiryo defenders confused by what was happening.
Takagawa took advantage when one of their players headed home at the far post. How good is this?
In the history of unorthodox free-kick routines, Ring-a-Ring o Roses is a new one. Bravo, Takagawa Gakuen High School. pic.twitter.com/sQPkqYtPAC— Dave Phillips (@lovefutebol) December 29, 2021
Thoughts on the free-kick routine?
Let us know in the comments.