Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt suffered every male footballer’s worst nightmare on Saturday.
The 20-year-old, who does not have children with his Dutch model girlfriend Annekee Molenaar, felt an acute pain in a particularly sensitive area during the Serie A leaders’ draw against Atalanta.
De Ligt initially struggled to recover when Colombian striker Duvan Zapata’s boot accidentally found its way onto very much the wrong kind of balls.
The highly rated youngster stayed on the ground for several moments, having certainly sacrificed himself for the cause in the heart of defence.
Social distancing aside, there wasn’t much the physios could do to help him on this occasion.
Zapata had challenged De Ligt for the ball and made a fair effort to muscle him out of the way but the former Ajax youngster stood firm and managed to slide the ball away from the forward.
But as Zapata attempted to jump over the well-timed challenge, he accidentally dropped his left foot down between the legs of De Ligt’s and left his opponent in agony. Not quite De Ligt-ful.
De Ligt eventually picked himself up and made a remarkable comeback to ride out the cringe-inducing pain for the rest of the game in Turin.
To add insult to injury for the youthful centre-half, Zapata had even opened the scoring for the high-flying Champions League quarterfinalists.
The 29-year-old got on the end of a ball from Alejandro Gomez and slipped a low shot beyond ex- Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
But Cristiano Ronaldo equalised with a penalty 10 minutes after the break – and had to repeat the trick after Atalanta regained the lead.
Ronaldo now has 28 Serie A goals in 29 games and his 11 spot-kicks are more than any player in Europe’s top leagues has managed this year.
Maurizio Sarri’s side remain eight points clear in Serie A with six games remaining.
Forget the Italian title, though. What De Ligt deserves is a long warm bath.
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