Ajax ballboy goes viral after hurling ball at time-wasting Roma defender

Dutch club were trailing 2-1 in the Europa League quarter-final first leg with seconds remaining

Soccer Football - Europa League - Quarter Final First Leg - Ajax Amsterdam v AS Roma - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - April 8, 2021 AS Roma's Riccardo Calafiori in action with Ajax Amsterdam's Devyne Rensch REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw
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Time wasting is nothing new in football and for the losing team, it can be extremely frustrating. For one Ajax ballboy, that frustration was certainly evident inside the Johan Cruyff Arena on Thursday.

With the Dutch club trailing 2-1 to Roma in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final, and with a matter of seconds left on the clock, Italian defender Riccardo Calafiori ambled over to take a throw-in. However, as he made his way over to a loose ball, Calafiori was hit in the chest by a ball forcefully thrown in his direction by an overeager ballboy.

Calafiori reacted by grabbing his neck and briefly confronting the unfazed ballboy, and while he was clearly aggrieved by the situation he said after the match that he understood the ballboy's actions. Unsurprisingly, the ballboy's throw has been widely shared on social media.

"I was thinking about a lot of things at that moment," Calafiori, 18, told Italy’s Sky TV.

"Fortunately, I managed to stay calm. I have to admit that it would also have irritated me if I saw an opponent time wasting in such a situation. I don’t say I respect it, but I get it."