This weekend’s match between Belgrano and Temperley was stopped mid-play by referee Ariel Penel after a savage assault on goalkeeper Juan Carlos Olave. Unfortunately we’re all too familiar with violence in football grounds here in Argentina, usually at the hands of the violent bands of fans known as barra bravas. In the match at the Mario Kempes stadium, however there was a rather different culprit: a bird.
Yes, a bird. Specifically, a southern lapwing, or, as they’re known here in Argentina, a tero. For anyone not familiar with the birds, they go absolutely nuts where they perceive a threat to themselves or their young, darting towards the perceived threat, who is likely to be left scared shitless. I speak from personal experience.
In the first few minutes of the match in Cordoba, Olave spotted the bird and, tero-fied (sorry), motioned to the ref to stop the game. Seconds after Penel stopped the game, the attack took place. The crazed winged beast took to flight, aiming itself towards Olave.
Olave’s ninja-like performance was only matched by photo-journalist Daniel Caceres, who captured the moment and posted it to his Instagram
But the goalkeeper, presumably a ninja warrior when he’s not playing football, in a superlative display of finesse and composure that perhaps even overshadowed his footballing performance (a man-of-the match performance, including a penalty save) managed to evade a beast with a 10/10 duck that Patches O’Houlihan (God, rest his soul) himself would be proud of.
With a tero(fic) dodge, a penalty save, a clean sheet, and what must be the most badass photo of him ever taken it was truly a day to remember for Olave. Bravo, sir.