Goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos goes viral for booting the ball away before facing penalty

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Goalkeepers secretly love facing penalties because they have little to lose.

They’re not expected to save spot-kicks because the odds are heavily stacked in the taker’s favour.

So when they do pull off a penalty save, they become an instant hero - up until their next mistake, anyway.

Over the years, we’ve seen ‘keepers do all sorts of things in an attempt to psyche out the taker.

Whether that’s throwing some shapes on the goal-line, time-wasting by hitting their studs against the post or drinking of their bottles, throwing the ball away or telling the taker he’s going to miss, goalkeepers have tried all sorts down the years with mixed success.

However, Niko Giantsopoulos takes the prize for the ultimate piece of s*ithousery we’ve ever seen at a penalty.

A 2018 clip showing the Canadian goalkeeper booting the ball away just before the spot-kick was taken is currently going viral on social media.

Giantsopoulos, who was playing for Launceston City in the NPL Tasmanian - Australian football’s second-tier - inexplicably runs out and kicks the ball away.

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Think of that famous Zaire free-kick against Brazil at the 1974 World Cup.

But… did it actually work?

Watch the clip here…

It did! Amazing.

Giantsopoulos may have picked up a yellow card, but his antics clearly put off the penalty taker.

Maybe more goalkeepers should try this.

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The man himself tweeted this week to confirm he is the goalkeeper in question.

The 25-year-old, who currently plays for Cavalry FC back in Canada, wrote: “For everyone asking, yes this is me... but before you judge me, just remember, it worked 🤯“

Fair play, Niko!

While your actions would probably be deemed as unsportsmanlike by many, the rest of us love seeing footballers trying new things out on the pitch - especially if they’re funny!

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