On Sunday, David Luiz cast his reputation as an attack-loving defender aside and became a hero.
The Brazil defender made an amazing goal-line clearance late in the first half of the FIFA Confederations Cup final. His intervention prevented Spain from tying the score at 1-1 just five minutes before halftime.
Instead, Brazil added its second goal of the game just moments after Luiz’s feat, which means his sliding save is widely recognized as the turning point in a thrilling contest, according to Bloomberg.
“The moment of our victory was when he saved that goal,” Brazil head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said.
The famous play started when Spain’s Fernando Torres sent Juan Mata forward on the left. He crossed to Pedro who was free on the right side of the area, and the Spanish forward quickly controlled the ball and shot it past Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Fortunately for Brazil, Luiz hadn’t given up on the play after Mata’s pass. He kept running toward his own goal — despite the ball be...