Never underestimate the healing power of football.
The beautiful game entertains millions all over the world, not least of which during a huge tournament like Euro 2020, but apparently, it also has the power to repair injuries, as Italian striker Ciro Immobile showed against Belgium.
The Italians completed a sensational 2-1 win over the world’s top-ranked side, with goals from Nicolò Barela and Lorenzo Insigne to book a spot in the semi-finals of the Euros.
Immobile didn’t have the best game, giving away the ball on several occasions when Italy were on the attack, but he thought he might have won a penalty in the build-up to Barella’s goal.
As he and Belgian Jan Vertonghen attacked the ball in the box, they each raised a boot, with the Belgian defender arriving slightly later and appearing to catch the Italian on the shin.
Immobile went down screaming in agony and remained writhing on the floor as Italy began another attacking wave.
Just when it seemed a stretcher would need to be called, or perhaps an ambulance, Barella lashed the ball into the back of the net.
The pure joy and adrenaline of the moment instantly annulled any pain Immobile was feeling and he was able to leap to his feet and join his teammates in celebration. It brought to mind the Biblical tale of Lazarus rising from the dead.
It was a miraculous moment amid the frenzied tumult of a tremendous game of football.