Turkish soccer star Merih Demiral was the unlikely hero for Italy at the opening game of the European soccer championship tournament in Rome on Friday.
Demiral scored an “own goal” to open Euro 2020, the first-ever own goal to kick off scoring in the history of the tournament. The month-long tournament is getting underway after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Italy went on to score two goals from their players before cruising to a comfortable 3-0 victory, the Turkish player technically earned Italy the victory due to his game-winning own goal.
Demiral was quickly lambasted on social media, with no shortage of commentators noting that the defender’s team outside of international duty is the storied Italian club Juventus.
“Juve continues to be the backbone of the Italian national team,” tweeted podcast host and columnist David Amoyal.
“Demiral helping his Juventus teammates gain the lead,” @BesanGreenwood tweeted.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.