Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
We’ve all had that horrible feeling of gut-wrenching regret, right?
Usually it hits worse just as you’re waking up with a steaming hangover, covered in garlic mayo after the (Lars) bender got a bit out of hand.
Imagine how you would feel however if your two yellow cards had just cost your country a place in the World Cup?
M’Baye Niang picked up two yellow cards in the tournament, the exact amount of bookings that have cost Senegal their place in the World Cup.
The former Watford striker was the toast of the nation after he scored the winner for Senegal against Poland in their opening group game.
Niang however has tarnished his match-winning performance with his poor disciplinary record.
The striker picked up his first booking of the tournament in Senegal’s second group game, against Japan.
In the 60th minute of the 2-2 draw, Niang was booked for a challenge on Japan’s Gen Shoji.
Niang caught the Japan man with a flailing arm after the pair both jumped to contest a header.
Despite the situation in Group H reaching the stage where it could come down to Fair Play, Niang totally ignored this crucial fact.
Senegal’s maverick striker proceeded to pick up another unnecessary booking, this time against Colombia.
Niang and Colombia’s Yerry Mina both challenged for the same ball in the second-half.
The Colombia man was first to it however, before Niang led with his boot which connected with Mina.
A yellow card was perhaps harsh, but was there even any need for Niang to take such a risk?
The booking would have ruled him out of Senegal’s round of 16 clash, but instead it has ruled his entire team out.
Senegal are the first team to ever be eliminated from a World Cup because of the Fair Play rule.
Both Senegal and Japan were level on points, goal difference and goal scored, so could only be separated on the number of cards they had.
Japan picked up four in their three games, whereas Senegal had amassed six.
Had both sides still been level on their number of cards, then FIFA would have had to draw lots to decide which team will progress.
Everyone would have lost their s**t if that happened.
And to think that he was once everyone’s hero…