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Explained: What Graziano Pelle Was Saying To Manuel Neuer Before His Penalty Miss

Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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An utterly comical penalty shootout sent Germany to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 at Italy's expense earlier this evening, but not before seven misses, including a notable fuck-up by Italy's Simone Zaza and a botched attempt at mind-games by Graziano Pelle.

The latter's hand gestures to Manuel Neuer begged many questions on social media as to what in the name of bejaysus Pelle was trying to say to the German 'keeper. The Southampton striker appeared to jokingly suggest that he would chip his penalty down the middle.

As it would transpire he duly skewed his penalty wide left, beyond a diving Neuer who in all likelihood had it covered regardless.


Prior to the shootout, Dutch football writer Priya Ramesh - who had followed Pelle's exploits with Feyenoord in the Eredivisie - pointed out that the Italian striker has previous in the 'Panenka' department - opting to dink down the middle in two previous international shootouts at underage level, as well as one penalty at senior level for his former club.


And so as he stepped up for his woeful effort tonight, it seems he was sarcastically gesturing to Neuer - who would obviously have had his homework done on all of Italy's penalty takers - that the ball would be chipped towards the centre of the goal once more, as it had been with three of Pelle's previous penalties.

Neuer, of course, was having absolutely none of it.

It seems incredibly ill-advised to try and psyche out the world's best goalkeeper in a penalty shootout, and ultimately it would seem the 30-year-old Pelle spooked himself, as he conspicuously didn't have a notion what he was trying to do with his wayward effort. There's bottlery and then there's just being an eejit.


All the credit here must go to Priya Ramesh for debunking Pelle's bizarre actions which will have puzzled any number of football fans who watched the game tonight. Insane penalty knowledge. Sign her up, Jogi Löw.


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