Boubacar Barry wasn’t even supposed to be playing in Sunday night’s African Cup of Nations final, but he became the hero, and villain, of a remarkable penalty shoot-out.
Barry, 35, had to be drafted in after Ivory Coast first choice Sylvain Gbohouo suffered an injury but left his mark on the competition in unforgettable fashion.
After a goalless 120 minutes, Ivory Coast failed to score their first two penalties of the shoot-out against Ghana and seemed to be set for yet more heartbreak in the final of the continental competition.
But Barry saved Ghana’s third penalty from Afriyie Acquah and the Black Stars then put their next one wide, allowing Ivory Coast back in. It then reached 8-8 on penalties, when it was the turn of the keepers.
As you can see in our video, Barry saved from opposing number Razak Brimah before falling to the ground dramatically and clutching his leg.
Barry had already gone down once during the spot-kicks, apparently suffering from cramp, but was now delaying taking his final penalty – and Brimah wasn’t impressed as he tried to drag Barry up.
After he did clamber to his feet, though, Barry slotted home the final penalty to win the cup for Ivory Coast.
"I have been criticised, but I am able to progress," an emotional Barry told Canal+. "I'm not big in talent nor in size, but I want to progress, I worked for the team. My mum suffered. Thanks to her, thank you to all Ivorians.
"Football allowed me to travel, there is no room for everyone; but there is room for the work. God rewarded me."
However, Barry’s antics were lambasted on Twitter as people felt his injury wasn’t perhaps as genuine as it appeared to be. This attitude was somewhat undermined by the fact he broke down during the celebrations as well.