San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini randomly picks up ball outside his area vs Scotland


Playing for San Marino must be a bittersweet experience.

While it’s an honour to represent any country in international football, La Serenissima are major underdogs almost every time they step onto the pitch.

The second smallest UEFA member have only won once in their history - a 1-0 victory over Liechtenstein in a friendly match during April 2004.

San Marino haven’t come closing to notching a second triumph in the qualifying stages of Euro 2020.

Franco Varrella’s men are yet to score their first goal of the campaign while letting no less than 43 into their own net.

The best result of they’ve eight matches played was a 2-0 home defeat to Scotland in March, but come the reverse fixture at Hampden Park on Sunday, the hosts were far more clinical.

Aston Villa’s John McGinn scored his first career hat-trick followed by goals from Lawrence Shankland, Stuart Findlay and Stuart Armstrong to complete a 6-0 thumping.

In truth, it would’ve been somewhat surprising if the result was anything less than a resounding win for Scotland.

However, San Marino did steal the spotlight for a moment when their goalkeeper, Aldo Simoncini, produced one of the most bizarre mistakes you’re likely to see.

With the ball calmly rolling towards him and no Scottish players racing to apply pressure, the 33-year-old seemingly had all the time in the world to ponder his next move.

But for whatever reason, standing inside the D on the edge of his box, Simoncini flicked the ball up and into his right hand before bowling it out to one of his teammates.

Naturally, the referee had no choice but to call handball against the San Marino custodian.

One look at the video below and you’ll wonder what on earth he was thinking…

That could well be the mother of all brain fades - especially considering the resulting free-kick was expertly tucked away by Southampton’s Armstrong.

That said, perhaps there’s a simple explanation for Simoncini perceived loss of focus.

There’s a suspicion he thought the whistle was blown after Scotland’s Shakland went to ground following a tussle on the halfway line.

Whether or not you want to give Simoncini the benefit of the doubt, it doesn’t change the fact that Steve Clarke’s side certainly didn’t.

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