Take notes, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi: This is how to stay classy.
However, Napoli's players immediately raised their hands and ran to the referee with shock on their faces. A quick look at a replay revealed the reason for their anger: Striker Miroslav Klose had used his hand to direct the ball past the keeper and into the net.
This wasn't the first time for such an occurrence. In the 1986 World Cup match between Argentina and England, Diego Maradona clearly used his hand to score a goal that many called "The Hand of God." In a 2007 La Liga match against Espanyol, Lionel Messi scored a goal with his hand. In each case, the Argentine perpetrator pretended the goal was legitimate, and the referee allowed it.
So what happened in Italy on Wednesday? The German legend immediately raised his arm to alert the referee of the infraction. Then, while all of his teammates attempted to hold him back, Klose went to the referee and had him disallow the goal.
To be fair, Klose did not look like he was attempting to use his hands, but rather was trying to emphasize a foul and accidentally allowed the ball to strike his hand.
Even the Napoli players were shocked by how honest Klose had been, patting him on the head and acknowledging their thanks of his sportsmanship.
From there, Lazio went on to lose 3-0 to Napoli as Edinson Cavani netted a hat trick. Hence, it is understandable for one to say that it was foolish for Klose to own up to his mistake.
However, on a moral level, the move was one of the most high-class acts in recent sporting memory.
For a player who is second all-time by one goal in World Cup goal scoring, such a down-to-earth approach to the game is more than refreshing.
Klose has become the model of professionalism in football and is someone whom all young footballers should look up to.
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