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30th Jun 2018

Calls for Nicolas Otamendi to be punished for repeat offences

He's a bad loser

Darragh Murphy

Nicolas Otamendi has not only lost a place in the World Cup quarter-finals but he’s also lost plenty of respect among his fellow professionals.

Otamendi has been accused of a disappointing lack of sportsmanship after booting the football at opponents’ heads on more than one occasion in Russia.

In Argentina’s crushing 3-0 group stage defeat to Croatia, the centre-half hoofed the ball into Ivan Rakitic’s head from just inches away, sparking a melee between the teams.

Otamendi seemingly doesn’t take too kindly to being on the losing side because he repeated the offence on Saturday afternoon, when Argentina were eliminated from the World Cup in a dramatic clash with France.

The Round of 16 game brought forth a seven-goal thriller and with Argentina desperately seeking an equaliser deep in injury time, Otamendi was issued a yellow card for belting the football at Paul Pogba’s head, again bringing both groups of players together in a shoving match.

The Manchester City centre-half has not made many friends in Russia and supporters have also not taken kindly to his tendency to lash out when results don’t seem to be going his way.

A ball to the head might not result in a career-threatening injury but there’s no need for it whatsoever and Otamendi’s behaviour has even resulted in calls for Fifa to take retroactive action against the defender.