Italy's Zaza ruthlessly ridiculed for penalty miss against Germany
After a tense and cramped 120 minutes of football at the Stade de Bordeaux, Antonio Conte looked to his bench with the impending penalty shootout to consider, then summoned Simone Zaza who, evidently, he believed had the requisite nerve for the task at hand.
As the Germany players raced towards the half way line to envelope Jonas Hector and Manuel Neuer in an unbridled embrace in celebration of their first victory over Italy in a major tournament at the ninth attempt, one would have paid far more than a penny for Conte’s thoughts.
Was it really prudent to replace the seemingly unflappable Giorgio Chiellini, the recipient of 88 caps, with his 25-year-old Juventus club mate at such a pivotal moment?
The irascible incoming Chelsea boss might well mull over that particular decision for years to come.
The penalties proved both compelling and calamitous, but Zaza’s miss, which followed fine conversions by Lorenzo Insigne and Toni Kroos, was particularly risible.
Even as stalwarts such as Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Leonardo Bonucci , who had beaten Neuer from the spot in regular time, all failed in their attempts, the lead up to Zaza’s spot kick - a lengthy spell of stationary running – has proven the source of serious ridicule.
That the shot almost breached the stratosphere probably didn't help his cause.
Germany went on to win 6-5 and will meet the winner of Iceland and France in the semi final.
Meanwhile, Zaza is still preparing to take his penalty— Rami Keserwany (@rami_k91) July 3, 2016
Some say ZAZA is still running up to take his penalty... #ITA— Transfer News (@TrustyTransfers) July 3, 2016
Zaza's running man challenge pic.twitter.com/Ypi8jMRLXM— (@FalseNineRoIe) July 3, 2016
Still laughing to myself this morning like a mentalist thinking of all the Zaza penalty gifs. Too funny.— Dave Burns (@djbphotos) July 3, 2016
Seriously I've watched that kick at least 20 times.— kenna (@kennagq) July 3, 2016
Gets funnier each watch.
He really thought he was confusing the keeper
@farkic "Zaza is the first player to take more steps in the run up to his penalty than in the game itself" LOL— kk (@_KevinKramer) July 3, 2016
I may have been drunk and embarrassing last night but at least I don't feel as stupid as Zaza does when he watches that run up again.— Sartorial thug (@SartorialThug) July 3, 2016
So Everytime yo secret weapon srews you over, We shall call it a || #ZAZA momment— The Vin©E Guy (@Vince_Muhumuza) July 3, 2016