The video doesn't really do this justice, because it cuts in about 2 seconds too late, which is a shame because the entire thing lasts maybe three seconds.
The clip starts with a shot of David Beckham as he walks off the pitch after being subbed out for Tabaré Viudez in the waning moments of Milan's 3-0 victory over Atlanta on Sunday. What you don't see is Viudez stepping on the pitch at the same moment. But you can hear the final whistle blow quite literally within 3 seconds. That's how long the young Uruguayan's debut for Milan lasted. Yep, that was his first "action" for the squad (at least in a game that counts as he got a couple of pre-season run outs).
Like we said, the clip doesn't do it justice. In fact he was ready to check in at about the 87th minute, but there were no dead ball opportunities. So, he stood there waiting as the seconds ticked up. And up. And up. Then, pretty much the moment he stepped into action, the ref blew the final whistle.
But, really, for an indication of how ridiculous the whole incident was, the look on Paolo Maldini's face is a good proxy as even he found it funny. Seeing how he replaced Jesus at left back for the Rossoneri, for him to react like it's something that he hasn't seen before, then it might have never happened before.
The peculiar thing is that, if you look at the clock, the whistle blows somewhere around 90:01 or 90:02 (hard to tell with streaming video lag). Really, no stoppage time at all? Because Filippo Inzaghi scored twice in the second half. Isn't the rule of thumb about 30 added seconds per goal? Maybe the ref was late for his nephew's confirmation.
Don't feel bad for Viudez. First, he plays for Milan. Second he's still only 19. Plus, if his performance in the South American U-20s is any indication—he was giving defenders fits running right at and past them—he's got plenty of good soccer ahead of him. Of course, at this rate, it might take him a couple of lifetimes to accumulate enough of it to count for much.
Monday, March 9, 2009