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Darius Vassell Reveals Why Ricardo Removed Gloves In Euros Shootout

Darius Vassell Reveals Why Ricardo Removed Gloves In Euros Shootout
By Rory Cassidy Updated
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Former England striker Darius Vassell has revealed why Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo removed his gloves prior to his penalty at the Euros in Greece in 2004.

Ricardo's performance against England in that shootout gained legendary status when he saved Vassell's penalty after taking off his gloves in an apparent attempt to physce the then Aston Villa player out.

The Portuguese shotstopper would then go onto to take and score the next penalty as his side ultimately advanced to the semi-finals.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of their World Cup Free-To-Play Halftime Quiz, Vassell finally revealed the reasons for Ricardo's actions eighteen years on.

Darius Vassell explains why Ricardo took off his gloves

Vassell was only told after the game that Ricardo had taken off his gloves and was "flabbergasted." It was only when they were playing together at Leicester a few years later that the pair finally got an opportunity to discuss the event.

"One day we were out playing golf together and he told me why he took his gloves off for my penalty," Vassell said.

"He said he'd done his research on all the penalty takers in the England team, but he had no meaningful data on me; he couldn't find any patterns.

"He had no idea where I was going to put it, so he just took his gloves off, said 'forget it', and made it a guessing game."

Vassell looks back years later and sees the funny side of the bizzare event.

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"Obviously it turned out that the heavens were shining down on him on that night.

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"It was just funny to hear it straight from him all those years later because I always wondered why on earth you'd do that in the middle of a shootout."

Vassell also admitted that his sister told him in the aftermath of the game that he "should've just scored."

"My sister was as real as you can get, as all sisters are.

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"She just said 'why didn't you just score?"

"You have to try and take the positives out of it, and in that moment she was just being exactly what I needed her to be," he added.

"I didn't want to be the person that people were feeling sorry for; you want to be the opposite of that, you want to be the hero.

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"I've watched my penalty miss several times; it's part of what makes me the person I am today."

The penalty miss came in the days before social media. We can only imagine the reaction if we saw similar shennanigans at this World Cup.

Darius Vassell was speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at the launch of their World Cup Free-To-Play Halftime Quiz.

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