Tottenham fans who spent all day Thursday focused on the evening’s big Europa League knockout first-leg at Dnipro found themselves inexplicably sidetracked by an unexpected distraction once the match kicked off.
That’s because Dnipro attacker Matheus – already catching a few eyes with his lively runs at the Spurs defence and squad number of 99 – was on the field wearing odd-coloured football boots.
You often hear of the grief fans give ‘flashy’ players for picking brightly-coloured or otherwise-unusual footwear or accessories for a match day, so you can imagine how this, erm, fashion statement went down on social media:
— Ash Duhaney (@AshDuhaney) February 20, 2014
— Rikki (@rikki303) February 20, 2014
You're allowed to foul a player who wears one black boot and one white. It's in the FIFA rules. — Jeff Maysh (@jeffmaysh) February 20, 2014
When Matheus would go on to fail to put the home side ahead with a number of clear-cut chances – including a one-on-one with Brad Friedel – he only served to make himself a bigger target to the shark tank that is social media during a live game of football.
But despite number 99’s ‘flakey’ performance, there were no shades of grey in his battles with defender Jan Vertonghen, who allowed Matheus to get in behind him on several occasions.
And to add insult to injury for fans of Tottenham and conservative footwear, the Ukraine side’s forward was fouled by the centre-back for the penalty which gave the first leg its only goal – despite the foul appearing to happen just outside the box.