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One of the victorious Italian footballers who triumphed over Belgium last night in the Euro 2020 quarter-finals has gone viral after making a miraculous recovery from injury to celebrate his team scoring.
Forward Ciro Immobile was lying on the floor clutching his leg, seemingly in agony, after a challenge from Belgium's Jan Vertonghen.
However, when teammate Nicolo Barella wriggled free in the box and finished past Thibaut Courtois, he made a Lazarus-like recovery and leapt to his feet to celebrate with the rest of the team.
It's a tale as old as time, footballers flinging themselves to the deck in order to con the referee into awarding them a decision, but in the modern game - and on a stage as large as the European Championships - there's nowhere for the sportsmen to hide if they're going to make an idiot of themselves like this.
Naturally, the internet has noticed and heartily ridiculed Immobile's miraculous recovery.
However, the Lazio striker won't mind too much, as his Italy side won the game 2-1 and progress to a semi-final against Spain, having safely despatched Roberto Martinez's top-ranked Belgian side.
:trophy: And the Oscar goes to Ciro Immobile! pic.twitter.com/ImsqIeSsBU
- Mozzart Bet Makedonija (@MozzartBetMK) July 2, 2021
Ciro Immobile recovering from injury as soon as Italy scored is a footballing miracle ... pic.twitter.com/HHUz17oTaN
- mr_bkn (@arshad_bkn) July 2, 2021
Ciro Immobile recovered from an injury immediately after Italy scored :joy::joy::joy: pic.twitter.com/rXIslRN4ho
- DME :flag_na: (@dme__363) July 2, 2021
Ciro Immobile rolls around like a fish and sets up the distraction. Nicolo Barella follows up with the goal.
- Jerry Mancini (@jmancini8) July 2, 2021
Immobile became an instant meme following his reaction to Barella's goal, with one person writing: "Funny how Immobile is magically healed as Barella scores lol."
Another said: "Miraculous recovery from the diving Immobile once Barella scored."
After the fact, BBC journalist Mike Bushell - joining Charlie Stayt and Rachel Burden on BBC Breakfast - posited: "The euphoria of the goal, maybe masked the pain?"
Yeah, something like that, perhaps?
Either way, Lorenzo Insigne's stunning strike proved the difference between the two sides, with Romelu Lukaku - who set Italy's Serie A alight this year, leading Inter Milan to the Scudetto - notching a penalty in response for Belgium.
Now, Italy progress to face Spain, who narrowly overcame 10-man Switzerland on penalties in Friday's earlier game in St Petersburg.
Of course, the eyes of Europe will now turn to the two matches today, with Denmark facing off against the Czech Republic before England take on Ukraine in Rome later in the day.
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