The Champions League is the top flight of international club football. But wait you know that already!
What you don’t know is what went down at Manchester United v/s Portuguese team Benfica in the Champion’s League 2017 group stage.
First, what’s so special about Benfica anyway?
Their 17-year old Belgian goalkeeper, Mile Svilar of course. He had his Champions League debut at the age of 17 becoming the youngest ever player to debut in the CL tournament and his debut was like no other.
Really! It wasn’t! You would imagine it to be a scintillating debut where he jumped and dived and slid between the sticks but well, NO! He messed up! Big time. Held the ball and walked right into his own goal!
What a noob right?
No, not really! On a little deeper digging you will soon begin to realize that maybe, just maybe the pressure may have FINALLY gotten to the little kid.
He was, after all, playing against the ex Busby boys team that still is infused with protégé’s mentored by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.
The deeper digging will tell you how poised, calm, confident and mature this 17-year-old really is. But don’t take our word for it just yet. Take a look at what he had to say after the match when asked about his goof up.
Moreover, this kid is a BEAST between the sticks. He really does do the dive and jump and save typically of a world-class goalkeeper. Maybe a Cassilas, De Gea or a Buffon in the making? Way too early in the day to make a call. Or is it? (All eyes downwards please)
If the above isn’t proof enough he also dealt with the pressure of going up head-to-head against his countryman Lukaku. (We did mention he’s Belgian remember?) And given the form and fire, Lukaku is on, any goalkeeper would plausibly have sleepless nights before matchday, especially if that goalkeeper was debuting in the Champions league and especially if he was 17 years old!
Lukaku, not surprisingly, but quite sportingly had something in store for the little kid-
Ah well, at the end of the day the lad made headlines. Scouts from all over Europe will have their eyes on him now!
Makes us all want to think what we were doing at 17, isn’t it?