Atletico Madrid: Goalkeeper Antonio Gomis forced into outfield debut in pre-season

Atletico's Simeone

Atletico Madrid had to give a youth team goalkeeper his debut as an outfielder in a pre-season fixture yesterday.

Antonio Gomis plies his trade for Atletico’s B-team but was included in the first team squad in pre-season, which turned into a debut against Spanish third tier outfit Numancia in truly bizarre fashion.

The game, which Atleti won 4-0, was decided with plenty of time to spare as Diego Simeone’s side had bagged all four goals after just 52 minutes of play, but ended with a rare twist as Gomis was introduced.

Thomas Lemar opened the scoring for Atletico after just eight minutes and their lead was doubled just after half an hour when Angel Correa got on the scoresheet.

Geoffrey Kondogbia made it 3-0 on the cusp of half-time, and it took just seven minutes into the second half for Matheus Cunha to make it four, with season preparations evidently stepping up a notch ahead of a visit to Getafe on 15 August.

In what was the ideal, lowkey fitness builder for Simeone’s men, the game had a true pre-season feel to it, despite the 2022/23 campaign being just around the corner. Koke had to pause mid-game to take a selfie with a fan, but that moment was dwarfed when Gomis’ unexpected debut came after 76 minutes.

Atletico manager Simeone.
Soccer Football – LaLiga – Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid – Reale Arena, San Sebastian, Spain – May 22, 2022 Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone REUTERS/Vincent West

Defender Mario Hermoso unfortunately went down injured, and with Simeone having already used up his available substitutes, the one man that hadn’t been called upon was the 19-year-old goalkeeper, who was yet to play for the first team in any capacity at all.

Amazingly, Gomis was actually called upon to fill in outfield. He first pulled on the kit of Nahuel Molina, but then took that one off and ended up making his debut wearing defender Felipe’s number 18 strip.

Did he play as a defender, though? Absolutely no chance. Grabbing the bull by the horns, Gomis ended up seeing out the closing stages of the game as a striker, and impressed spectators with a show of skill, hitting a smart drag-back on an opposition player which was captured by cameras.

This all actually happened. Really. Check it out for yourself below.

WATCH: Atletico Madrid goalkeeper debuts as outfielder

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate that cut back, please. It’s one thing to have the awareness to pull off the skill to get out of danger and create space, and another thing to execute it cleanly. Gomis did both.

A debut for a team as big as Atleti would be enough to cause butterflies in the stomach of anyone, even if it was coming on a park with fans seemingly camped out on the touchline like it was a Sunday league affair.

Gomis didn’t appear to be intimidated at all, though, and he wasn’t even playing in his usual position. Ice in his veins.

Unfortunately, the young goalkeeper couldn’t add to his highlight reel with a goal or anything of similar ilk. However, he certainly made a decent account for himself in the 14 minutes or so he did play, merely by stepping up to the challenge in the first place.

In an era where goalkeepers are expected to be more progressive and better with their feet, playing as an outfielder is still a completely different beast, and there are only a select few who could manage such a cameo without looking silly.

Antonio, we salute you. He might have a hard time getting a game between the sticks anytime soon with Jan Oblak still occupying the number one spot for Los Rojiblancos, but at least Simeone now knows he can rely on Gomis if ever he wants to really rattle the cage and send the football world into frenzy.

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