‘Flopping’ Argentina: Star player’s on-field antics spark anger from Canadian soccer fans

While many Canadians watched the national team’s match against Argentina on Tuesday night with high hopes, their dream of beating the best team in the world in the Copa America semi-finals was shattered.

And although the reigning world champions finished with a two-goal lead, the performance of one of their star players drew the ire of the Canadian fans with his style of play.

People living in the Great White North, a country where strong hockey players are popular, were shocked to see Rodrigo De Paul writhing on the grass several times a night as if he had been run over by a train, even as he continued to play.

At one point in the evening, De Paul was lying on the ground in pain after an apparent foul from Canadian midfielder Stephen Eustaquio. Replays showed it was a phantom touch that sent the Argentine to the ground in pain.

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While De Paul is likely to be public enemy number one after his performance, the Chilean referee is a close second after rewarding the Argentine’s performance with a series of free kicks.

The Atletico Madrid forward’s antics continued later, and eventually, Canadian forward Ismael Kone tapped a ball into his back. This of course sent him into action, resulting in the referee giving him a well-deserved yellow card. (To be fair, most other referees would probably have shown a red card for the Canadian displaying his frustration in such a manner.)

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A short time later, after De Paul somehow recovers from his injuries, he begins to criticize Canadian coach Jessie Marsch.

His anger led to widespread criticism on X, formerly known as Twitter. Fans called for an investigation and wanted the Argentine to receive an Oscar for his performance.

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Even Spanish fans expressed their disgust at his antics on the pitch.

Someone even went so far as to change the Argentine striker’s page on Wikipedia.

While Canadians mourn what could have been, they can also take a moment to enjoy a fun fact about Tuesday night’s referee.

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© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kevin Nielsen

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