Highlight reels in soccer often cull together the best moves of attacking players, and for good reason. Scoring is the most important thing you can do in the sport, dribbles and passes and shots are just more aesthetically pleasing than smart defensive positioning, etc. etc. That doesn’t mean the big lads at the back tasked with preventing those fleet-footed phenoms from adding another clip to their portfolios never do anything cool or worthy of being commemorated in video. Case in point, the aptly named Milan Škriniar, Inter’s 22-year-old center back, who came up against Napoli, one of the world’s premier attacks, and just ate them alive:
Škriniar’s passes and clearances here are plenty impressive, but it’s the tackles (he had a whopping seven on the day in a match that ended in a scoreless draw) that’ll really knock your socks off. You can just see guys like Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne sizing Škriniar up, no doubt thinking to themselves Haha perfect, I’ve got this big fucking galoot right where I want him, now just to drop a shoulder this way and—only for said galoot to be like Get that shit out of here. It’s as if Škriniar knows exactly what they’re going to do with the ball and gobbles it up before they can do it. It’s beautiful.
So enjoy the video, and learn the name now so that you’ll look smart to your buddies in a year or two when he comes to Man City and you can say “Oh, they got Škriniar? Nice, I’ve always rated him.”