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Shakhtar’s Luiz Adriano brought new meaning to term poor sportsmanship

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano is a talented young striker being sought by several top clubs for his goal-scoring ability, but on Tuesday he did something that could overshadow his past accomplishments in a very negative way.

During Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match between Nordsjaelland and Shakhtar, a stoppage in play due to injury gave Shakhtar the ball back, and when Shakhtar playmaker Willian booted the ball into Nordsjaelland’s defensive third it appeared to be a bit of good sportsmanship.

At least until Adriano ran onto the long pass while Nordsjaelland’s defenders stood around and proceeded to deposit a shot into the net.

Needless to say, it didn’t go over too well.

Here is the incident:

What do you think? Give him the benefit of the doubt that he was oblivious to what was going on, or do you think he knew exactly what he was doing?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Ok – the solution to this is quite simple:

    Whenever that kind of situation arises – the ball kicked out because of a player down. All the ref needs to do – is to drop the ball to the team that kicked it out! Cant get the idea of dropping it to the opposition at all. If dropped to the team that kicked it out, the other team would never have the chance to be unsportsmanlike at all!

  2. the real sportsmanship problem here is the danish player feigning injury to get a free kick or player booked/sent off…..
    lesson – dont damn well dive and try get a player booked….
    I commend the shaktar player for tthe punishment he dished out to the danish team, not as though fifa/uefa actually cracks down on the cheating divers

  3. I had this situation once during a competition as a goalkeeper. I hacked the forward not once but twice and he was left injured for his lack of sportmanship…The keeper should have done same..

  4. The goal was hardly a “mistake”… Shortly before he left Denmark Adriano said this to the Danish media :

    – “I’m very happy. We won, and I’m happy about all my goals, also the first one”

    …and right after the incident and argument on the pitch, when the FCN captain made a deal with Shakhtar captain Srna, that they were suppose to let FCN score a goal straight away, to makes things right, Danish TV were showing footage of Adriano looking upset and waving his hands, clearly trying to encourage his team-mates not honor the deal, but to stop FCN from scoring the goal, which is also what happened.

  5. I have no problem with it at all. Ultimately, I blame the team that allowed him to run free through the defense while they stood around expecting to restart possession from the back.

    If this were truly that egregious, the ref could simply have disallowed the goal or given possession to Nordsjaelland directly.

  6. I’ve always wondered in a situation like this with a Brazilian player on a Russian team against a Danish side — what language do you yell at him in?

  7. If Adriano were truly oblivious, Shakthar should’ve acknowledge the error by letting the opposition score right after the subsequent kickoff. That they didn’t shows the whole team’s classlessness.

  8. I have seen on other web sites claims that right before Adriano’s goal that Morten Nordstrand of Nordsjælland took a dive and faked as if he had been elbowed in the face by a Shakhtar Donetsk player, trying to make the ref think that Shakhtar Donetsk was playing dirty and hoping for a red card. And, sure enough, if you look at the video below, it is clear that Nordstrand did not get elbowed in the face and that he is faking it. I did not see the game, but one article indicates that trainers even ran on the field to “treat” Nordstrand for his fake elbow injury. (Can anyone confirm that?) In any case, when Nordstrand stands up, he has a smirk on his face and still play-acting and rubbing his jaw as if he got an elbow, while the Shakhtar Donetsk player he is accusing to have done it is not happy with Nordstrand’s disgusting faking antics.

    I agree that Adriano still should not have done what he did. Big mistake on his part. But I hate it when players like Nordstrand fake an elbow to the face and then squirm around on the ground in fake pain in an attempt to influence the referee into giving a player a red card. That also is the lowest kind of poor sportsmanship and I would call Nordstrand as big a jerk as Adriano.

  9. I’m shocked at how many people are saying that the Nordsjaelland shouldn’t have let it happen. That’s absurd – it’s not something any player would expect in a million years, nor should they. Regardless of the legality, it just isn’t the way the game is played. As a baseball fan, I imagine most Adriano defenders would also say that Johnny Roseboro should have been ready for Juan Marichal to come at him with that bat. Hey, you have to stay on your toes at all times!

    • Football is a 90 minute game with virtually no breaks in play. Sportsmanship is a social construct; it’s not a law of the game. No team should ever expect to walk around waiting for the ball to come back to them.

      If you apply a standard like this to other sports it would be utterly ridiculous.

      • As I stated, no, it wasn’t a law of the game. But every sport has mores, the breaking of which brings scorn to the players who break them. Remember when Alex Rodriguez shouted at Toronto third baseman Howie Clark in an attempt to break his concentration as he was fielding a pop fly? Or last year when Floyd Mayweather knocked out Victor Ortiz with a sucker punch? Neither of those were against the rules of the sport, but they are obviously against the rules of common decency and sportsmanship. I can’t imagine how you can possibly argue otherwise.

  10. Luiz Adriano should definately be punished by that. But even more, the team that supports his conduct should be given a more severe punishment. What seen here, is 100% unsportsmanlike conduct in football. And that is being allowed on this level in UEFA is really REALLY SAD. The competition is losing merit for letting this happen.

  11. I don’t think I agree with the sneaky play. It is very much against the sportsmanship of the game. Which I think for all fans of the game is one of the appeals.

    Very unfortunate. The team should get docked 3 points.

  12. His name sounds Brazilian…in which case if he is then he cannot be held accountable for his actions as he is a direct descendant of the footballing Gods. Arrogant little Sh*t…

  13. If I were a Chelsea fan, wouldn’t I be pretty upset now that it’s a four goal deficit to make up to advance. It makes me think the Ukranian team doesn’t want the team with a Russian owner to advance.

    • If you were a Chelsea fan, you would be rooting for Shakhtar to beat Juve. Shakhtar has already qualified for the next stage and the four goal difference between Shakhtar and Chelsea is absolutely irrelevant. At most, Chelsea can tie Shakhtar on points, if Shakhtar loses and Chelsea wins. At the group stage the tie breakers are: 1. Head to head points, 2. Head to head goal difference, 3. Away goals between tied teams, 4. Goal difference, 5. Goals scored, 6. UEFA co-effecient points. Chelsea would not qualify even if it beats Nordsjaelland 50-0, unless Shakhtar beats Juve. If Juve wins or ties Shakhtar, Chelsea is out.

  14. This is one of the worst sportsmanship moves I have ever seen….it casts z huge black shadow over adriano. He will never be able to shake it and will be shunned by the soccer community….I would not be surprised if he has a price put on his head…

  15. I agree that the Danish players, including our own Michael Parkhurst, should have been more aware that it could happen but there’s no excuse for that kind of behavior. Adriano started running as soon as the ball was played and it’s clear that he intended to do that the whole time. Would he have done that if Shakhtar wasn’t surprisingly down a goal early? Not sure, but that’s complete bush league and he should be ashamed of himself. It may not be officially against the rules but that’s a lack of honor right there.

    That said, can you imagine if this game had been decided by that one goal? I doubt Adriano would have made it off the field in one piece. He and Shakhtar are extremely lucky that this game was decided by more than a goal. I could absolutely see action being taken against him otherwise.

  16. Is there concrete evidence that Adriano did not realize it was an injury related drop kick? Maybe hes just clueless? (trying to rationalize this)

  17. Believe it or not I’m a huge Shakhtar fan. I attended my very first professional soccer match in their stadium. I gotta say, this is despicable, I never like Adriano and now I really hate him.
    One thing to clear up, the coach did tell the team to concede, and everyone was going along with except one player (Stepanenko) who claims he didn’t know about the plan/deal and stopped the goal. Either way they should have given one back somehow.
    This will definitely come back to haunt them, either as a distraction or by other teams hatred or just bad karma. It’s lame too because they’re a good team and should have just played hard and won fair and square.

  18. This makes me laugh.

    If I had watched the game I would have more of an opinion. Don’t know why the ball was kicked out in the first place. If the player went down to get the refs attention and wasn’t hurt at all, I have no problem with this happening every time.

    • They only do the drop ball if the ref believes the player is injured seriously enough to warrant a stoppage in play Ex Mostly possible head injuries. Otherwise it would have been a throw in more than likely. So there is no way that Adriano didn’t know what he was doing in the situation. I can understand the complaint that the Danish team should have been more aware though.I totally disagree that you think that something like this is acceptable though. That’s bush league.

  19. I recognize how unsportsmanlike this was, but having no history with either team I just had to laugh. Personally I think all the outrage is a little dramatic. Someone said it above, the defense should have seen the possibility of this coming and positioned themselves accordingly.

  20. If Shakhtar had any decency, they would have allowed Nordsjaelland to score — or even put one intentionally into their own net. I’ve seen a team (SK Brann) do this even when they inadvertently scored because a ball played back to the other goalkeeper bounced over the ‘keeper’s head and into the goal. (Their own ‘keeper didn’t like the idea, though.)

    • great example. i can understand why that keeper didn’t like it since he is being punished for the other keepers mistake/misfortune, but it was the fair thing to do no doubt. even if it was that keepers last game and he had a cleansheet going, the greater gesture and longer memory lives in selflessness.

      • Yeah, the ‘keeper was livid. He clearly thought that the other guy screwed up. You can see him arguing with his teammates. But the Brann player who struck the ball, and the rest of the team and coaches, clearly thought that it wsa the right thing to do. And I think they went on to win the game anyway.

  21. I cant help but think of in the 98 FA Cup I believe it was that Kanu scored off a similar situation for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger agreed to replay the entire game, which they won again.

    • Ya If I remember correctly both games ended 2-1. Kanu scored after the injury when Arsenal were trying to give the ball back to the Sheffield United keeper, who had kicked it out.

  22. You just don’t let that happen. The keeper should have taken care of business and ended his night. Once the keeper let it happen, he should have been dealt with in the run of play.

  23. Wow…..this guy is horrible…no wonder he’s not in a big league and never been part of a National Team call up…what a low low class move….

  24. people, all the outrage, yet this team from denmark was standing around and they should have been defending. there was a big hole in the middle of the field and the central defenders should have been in a better position. the lesson to be learned here, is be ready for teams who dont mind taking advantage of the rules. i dont know why people are so astonished, this is a ukrainian team full of brasilians. they are looking to win anyway they can, and they play good soccer too.

    • if you’re a d-bag team looking to win at all costs, then don’t boot the dropball down the field even tho you should. the guise of sportsmanship is what makes this basically unforgivable.

      • shakhtar is a europa cup winner, and they have a croatian captain. croats are not going to worry about hurting some poor team from denmarks feelings. the guy kicks the ball down the field, denmark is standing around, and they get punished. its simple as that.

        looking for a bad guy in this is missing the larger point, that is really the bottom line.

        what, are people going to cry when this happens to the usa, when maybe the better message is to go out and prepare players for such a situation.

      • “they have a croatian captain. croats are not going to worry about hurting some poor team from denmarks feelings”

        ” this is a ukrainian team full of brasilians. they are looking to win anyway they can,”

        How should I feel about blacks and Jews, oh wise one?

      • You make a good point. This is why it is socially acceptable to freely throw out stereotypes about Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Samoans, Irish… because hey, that’s not racist.

      • allight, somoans, now that is funny. im serious now, who amongst us thinks afa and sika, whenever they hear samoans?

        you guys are too funny. jesus, the point is not to dole on about how bad this guy is and wishing him ill. the point is to understand that this happens on occasion, and to never let it happen to your team, or in the case of the us national team, our team.

        i dont really see what is so difficult about this, not for the life of me.

      • Yeah, it is not like countless millions of people have died in meaningless wars over issues of nationality. Surely if ever there was a permissible bigotry it should that on the basis of national identity.

      • as you of course know, wars are fought over land, not national identity. since this is a geo political discussion, and the next world cup is being played in brasil, i think it is wise to know that brasilians are not going to apologize for winning. maybe the french will though.

      • eric, if you are offended, dont let it get to you, but really, i dont know how you can be offended having watched years of football. i really dont.

      • dickcanitch….some advice: stick to the self flagellation and choking the odd chicken, because you are obviously a shameless contrarian whose only goal in life seems to be to inflate your already overly large ego.

        That being said….GO FIGHTING WALDOS!!!!!

    • I am proud to follow a sport with opportunities like this for sportsmanlike conduct. It is disappointing to me that some morons like this can sink to this level. If he doesn’t realize what he has done, I hope that it impacts his career.

    • Are you really saying that Brazilians do this all the time? I watch a ton of soccer, and I have never in my life seen this happen in any league. Really disgusting, and shocking that anyone finds this ok.

      • “Really disgusting, and shocking that anyone finds it ok” might be the greatest hyperbole in history. This isn’t genocide or child sex trafficking. It’s bad sportsmanship in a soccer game.

  25. To add insult to injury, I read that the Shaktar coach instructed his team to deliberately concede a goal afterwards to offset this goal, and that his players refused to go along with it.

    What a classless team. I will be cheering for whoever is playing against them in the round of 16.

    • I’m pretty sure the coach could have overcome his players “not going along with it” by pulling the captain aside or pulling his players off the field.

  26. How does one of his teammates not have the sense to immediately put one in their own net? That’s just bush league in every way but it’s not like it would’ve been complicated to rectify the injustice…

    • The Shaktar manager actually instructed his team to deliberately concede a goal to cancel out this one. The players didn’t go along with it.

      • Wow. Well, not that it was really in doubt, but he/they lose all plausible deniability of it being a miscommunication when they fail to rectify it.

      • the ref should’ve just called a penalty the next time the ball when into Shaktar’s 18 and called the keeper for leaving the line early if he managed to save it. No way they should’ve had to play the rest of the game knowing they were so wronged.

      • If the ref did that, it would likely be the last CL game he ever got to ref.

        Not a whole lot he could actually probably do in those circumstances, since the goal only broke the unwritten laws of the game. Maybe give a yellow card to Adriano for unsportsmanlike behavior, but that’s probably about it.

      • I actually have a theory as to why Shakhtar players did not go along with it. In 2008-2009 Champions league, Shakhtar has a player down injured, so they kicked the ball out, expecting that Barcelona would give them the ball back when the game resumed, but instead, Barcelona crossed it and scored. Messi was unmarked because everyone was expecting the ball to be given back to Shakhtar. Shakhtar had 1-0 lead in the 87 minute, when it happened. I am not justifying Shakhtar’s poor sportsmanship, but there may be a bit of a back story.

      • I wish it were so, but that’s not what happened.
        The Italy game ended 1-1, their goal was on a set play.

        The Ghana game winning goal came from Reyna being stripped at midfield and tweaking his ankle, but they were already in a scoring position when he went down so they did what anyone would do.

      • False. You’re speaking of the first Ghana goal which was countered by Deuce from a Beezer cross. The winning goal came from a horrid foul call on Gouch in the 18 from a German dentist impersonating a World Cup ref.

  27. wow, i just have to assume he was not paying very clear attention to what was going on. he has a twitter so hopefully he’ll apologize to that team and their fans soon, rather than try to defend himself.

    • yeah, they might need to take a second look at the rule or the tradition. if there are no consequences for doing that, what’s to stop players or coaches who are desperate from using that to their advantage? you could fake an injury and get a fantastic chance. of course, it is the opposite of common decency to do something like that, but certainly not out of the realm of human possibility. i hope it was innocent and won’t happen again for a long time, but in the mean time, it was a very valuable lesson to us coaches, that defense wasn’t ready for the slim possibility.

    • They had the opposite issue in some random game footage I saw on youtube the other day, where a bench goalkeeper warming up behind the goal stepped into the net and saved a shot after the attacker had the actual goalie beat. In that game they denied the goal — per the play result — and gave an (unsuccessful) free kick.

      I mention this because the common thread is the play apparently counts and the discipline and such is a separate issue. Unlike say hoops where goaltending counts the shot, etc.

      It bears noting that what Adriano did, while vile, is under the heading of courtesy and not rules of the game. There is an argument to be made that the Danish team — Parkhurst’s bunch (who’ve stunk in CL anyway)??? — failed in the boxing-type instruction to defend themselves at all times. I mean they’re pretty pedestrian and lackidaisical when the kick downfield is putting the ball in play. Two backs anywhere near it and no one moving with urgency.

      • You mean defenders were passively letting a ball bounce slowly up the middle back in play. Adriano is a twerp but on re-starts my directive was always to go ahead and win the ball. You never know what might happen.

      • If you don’t know what to do in this situation, you are a fool. If you do what Adriano did, you are a d*ck. Simple. So, which are you?

    • Arsenal scored in a similar fashion ten odd years ago in an fa cup match. Wenger offered the opposition a replay, which arsenal won as well.

      • Great memory. Arsenal played against Sheffield United in that match and the Gunners won the replay days later.

      • Again, the “most” sporting thing would’ve been to allow them to equalize right then. Sheffield were level in the 78th minute (and giving as good as they were getting), and would’ve had the replay at their ground. But because they erased that match, it was played again at Arsenal.

    • This happened in the Asian Champions League semi-final last season between Suwon and Al Sadd. It sparked a massive team-wide brawl and a few red cards and suspensions, its on youtube. Very frowned upon this lack of class. Al Sadd also refused to let Suwon score to make up for it.

    • Similar incident happened in an AFC Champions League semifinal game in 2011 between Suwon and Al Sadd. Suwon kicked out a ball on the attacking half after a player from both sides was injured. Al Sadd took the throw in and the receiving player kicked the ball towards the Suwon keeper. Niang from Al Sadd ran onto the ball and kicked in for a goal. There was a lot of discussion back then about how unsporting this was. It’s a shame that there are still players, coaches, teams that still feel getting a goal, result, win like this is kosher.

      At the 4:40 mark of the video tempers flared and the game turned into a brawl.

    • There’s just absolutely nothing the ref can do. It’s in no way against the rules of the game. Only the rules of common decency…

      • i disagree. it would have been a bad call, but the line judge should have called him offside. i think by allowing that goal they but the piece of sh!t’s safety at risk for the remainder of the contest. the coach should have pulled him as well and his teamates shouldnt have been congratulating him. a lot could have been done

      • The Shaktar team should’ve allowed them to walk it right into their net after that. It was completely disgraceful that they didn’t, and that they just decided oh well… we’re level now, deal with it.

      • It’s not the referees decision. No laws of the game were broken, you can’t just start calling fouls when no fouls occur.

      • I don’t agree. You can se the ref discussing what to do with the ball when he hands it to the Shaktar player. He’s directed him to turn it over to the other team, so Adriano has basically told the ref to stuff it. That’s worth a yellow card at least.

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