During France’s Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands, Aurelien Tchouameni conceded one of the most peculiar free-kicks you are likely to witness.
This match marked France’s first appearance since their devastating World Cup final loss to Argentina, and they managed to triumph over Ronald Koeman’s team with a convincing 4-0 victory, featuring goals from Kylian Mbappe (2), Antoine Griezmann, and Dayot Upamecano.
Although he did not score during the match, Tchouameni garnered attention for an unusual incident that occurred in the second half of Friday’s game.
Well, that’s a new one! 👀
Aurélien Tchouaméni thinks the ball is soft so picks it up and throws it away while still in play ⚽
The result: Dutch free-kick 😂#EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/fzAflPLW9u
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) March 24, 2023
In the 56th minute of the game, Tchouameni, who plays for Real Madrid, received the ball and took a single touch before committing an unexpected act.
Believing that the ball felt too soft, he picked it up and tossed it away.
The referee intervened and awarded a free-kick to the Netherlands, which Tchouameni and his teammate Mbappe disputed to no avail. Luckily for Tchouameni, the Netherlands were unable to capitalize on the free-kick, and the incident did not prove costly.
Nevertheless, he likely learned a valuable lesson about not handling the ball without the referee’s whistle.
Following the win, France’s manager Didier Deschamps commended his squad for their impressive comeback.
He said: “It’s a great return, even if this Dutch side had a few issues. It doesn’t take away from what we achieved, and from the atmosphere, and the fact that we didn’t concede at the end.
“It’s great, it’s important to win at home but now we have another match coming up. We don’t have long to recover.”
Two-goal hero Mbappe added: “We prepared all week with a view to not disappoint our fans.
“We wanted to follow in our footsteps from the World Cup, aside from the final. We’re very happy. It’s a good first step, but there’s all to play for in the group.”