Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
On the same night that Lionel Messi was booked for his attempt at scoring a Hand of God goal, Marius Ebbers proved that not all footballers are willing to cheat their way to success.
St. Pauli, fourth in the Bundesliga II, had a pivotal match in their promotion-seeking season on Tuesday as they hosted 7th-placed Union Berlin, and the match went against the hosts early on as Markus Karl headed the visitors in front.
In the 59th minute Max Kruse drew St. Pauli level with a low shot into the near post, and then midway through the second period Marius Ebbers appeared to head the hosts into a crucial 2-1 lead.
Only Ebbers hadn’t headed the ball in the net: instead the number 9 screwed up his effort, only to see the ball ricochet into the goalmouth via his left hand.
Neither the referee nor the linesman spotted the handball, and accordingly they awarded St. Pauli the advantage.
Amazingly, however, Ebbers plainly felt guity about what was about to happen, and without any discussion or hesitation he came clean to the officials about the infringement and ordered them to wipe his ‘goal’ off the record.
Moreover, when a Berlin opponent tried to thank Ebbers for his moment of honesty, the forward instinctively pushed him away.
It was a spectacular moment of fair play.
Proving good things happen to good people, deep into injury time Fin Bartels claimed the winner for St. Pauli.
Related video links: Cristiano Ronaldo’s awesome hat-trick v Atletico Madrid.