If you dared venture into the wild west that is the internet last weekend then you’ll have been bombarded with Roberto Firmino’s 11th goal for Brazil.
The strike went viral within seconds of Firmino steering the ball into an open net from eight yards out, following a mistake by Peru’s goalkeeper.
Of course, that description is missing a vital detail. Firmino wouldn’t have trended worldwide had he simply tapped the ball into an open net.
The finish was completed in Firmino’s trademark no-look fashion, as if watching the ball cross the line would incur the wrath of the increasingly iron-fisted VAR robots.
It’s nothing new. Firmino was averting his glaze as far back as 2014 while making his way as an attacking midfielder at Hoffenheim.
While the teeth, club and position have all changed, Firmino’s commitment to looking elsewhere hasn’t.
Upon seeing Firmino’s no-look goal you’re likely to have been struck by one of two contrasting emotions.
The first is glee. Which other player in world football takes such a novel approach to the humble tap-in?
This camp believes we’re here for a good time, not a long time. There’s no point finishing your career without a 15-minute YouTube compilation, accompanied by a dirty dutch house soundtrack, to look back on.
Goalkeepers are there to be disrespected. Their entire existence is designed to ruin a striker’s career. Any opportunity to discourteously dirty their sheets should be enjoyed to the full.
The second is an intense hatred rising deep from the pit of your stomach. ‘It’s not even that difficult!’, you spit between hammering out tweets about Jesse Lingard’s holiday snaps.
Strikers should be hung, drawn and quartered for daring to make a mockery of the sacred act that is goalscoring.
What happened to the good ol’ days of Gary Lineker, Ian Rush and Nat Lofthouse? Bobby Charlton always shook hands with the goalkeeper before tucking away a neat finish.
Firmino’s finish is divisive. It’s a lovely example of the trivial moments in football which have come to divide modern and traditional fans.
To borrow a phrase from Stormzy, Love Island rejectees and Second World War field doctors, it’s not that deep.
True, it’s not a particularly difficult piece of skill. The reaction every time Firmino finishes in such fashion is excessive.
Yes, you probably could finish in a similar fashion, although to do so you’d need to become Brazil’s leading striker.
But if you’re getting worked up about Firmino’s maverick finishes then football is going to get increasingly difficult to watch as society continues to morph and develop.
A goal is a goal. Whether it’s proceeded by a no-look finish or followed by a celebration on Snapchat doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of football.
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