There was some great sportsmanship on display in today’s Serie A fixture between Torino and Atalanta. Torino centre forward Andrea Belotti upheld the true spirit of the game when he was deemed by the referee to have been brought down by foul means, but his gesture was one of fair play.
Not only did Belotti convince the referee about his opponent’s innocence, he also gave up the free-kick opportunity when it came his way.
Atalanta were leading 3-0 at home when Belotti was dispossessed by Cristian Romero just outside their penalty area in the 32nd minute. Francesco Forneau, the referee officiating the game in Bergamo, adjudged it to be a foul on Belotti and was looking to send the Argentinean defender’s name into his book.
Belotti, however, was adamant that he was not dispossessed illegally and pleaded for Romero to not be booked. He eventually was successful in convincing the referee out of issuing a yellow card to Romero, but Torino would still have to line up for the free-kick opportunity awarded as a result of the adjudged foul.
Belotti showed a gesture of immense sportsmanship as he rolled the ball into Atalanta shot-stopper Pierluigi Gollini’s safe arms, handing possession of the ball back to the opponent.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men were visibly impressed at the Italy international’s brilliant gesture, as a retreating Belotti was greeted by lots of pats on his back by his opponents.
Belotti would later go on to register his name on the score sheet, as he scored Torino’s first goal later in the first half: the first of three goals as they eventually went on to draw the game 3-3.
The draw helped Davide Nicola’s men move out of the bottom three places in the Serie A table, while Atalanta remain seventh.
Andrea Belotti talked the referee out of booking Cristian Romero after he 'fouled' him.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 6, 2021
Then, Belotti gives the ball back from the resulting free kick.
Great to see 👏 pic.twitter.com/6B7K8ktsAY