Tunisia’s goalkeeper Mouez Hassen has caught the attention of the footballing world by getting injured in the 58th and 47th minutes of play respectively in two consecutive friendlies.
What’s so unique about a player being injured during a football match, you ask?
Well, interestingly enough, both ‘injuries’ – against Portugal and Turkey – coincided with the time of sunset, which is when Muslims observing Ramadan break fast.
Sure enough, the moment Hassen went down on his back, his teammates headed to the sidelines for a drink of water and snack, reportedly, on dates.
And what more, the move had an immediate impact on proceedings. Within minutes on both occasions, Tunisia managed to find the back of the net. It happened six minutes after the ‘injury’ against Portugal, when Tunisia scored an equaliser to make it 2-2. And against Turkey, too, the team scored soon after the break in a match that ended 2-2 as well.
According to a BBC report, Hassen joked with his teammate on Twitter soon after, saying “I was hurt, bruv” along with smiling emojis, replying to a tweet that said, “It’s all right now, we know you were pretending.”
Tunisia will be in Group G at the World Cup. They play England on June 18, Belgium on June 23 and Panama on June 28.
The team will play a final warm-up match on June 9 against Spain – world champions in 2010.
The star of the Tunisian team, Youssef Msakni, will miss the World Cup due to knee an injury – sustained in a league match for Qatari club Al-Duhail.
Tunisia open their World Cup campaign against England, by which time Ramadan will be over.