Gerard Piqué seems to have enjoyed his time in Japan, but Japanese Internet users aren’t so thrilled.
Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, a member of FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team, recently shared a video of himself that was shot in Japan. In the clip, Piqué is seen standing in his socks on a patch of artificial turf.
Someone kicks a soccer ball to him, and Piqué begins entertaining a surrounding group of cameramen by juggling the ball with his feet and knees. The crowd is seemingly there as part of a promotional shoot for sportswear company Nike, seeing as how Piqué tweeted the video along with the message “Thanks to @Nike Japan for this experience!”
However, Internet users in Japan aren’t feeling nearly so grateful towards Piqué, because after skillfully juggling the ball for about 25 seconds, the pro athlete decides the show is over, and he punts the ball high into the sky, sending it over the railing and falling down to street level at a far-off distance.
Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) July 11, 2017
It’s clearly intentional, since after a number of small, controlled taps with his feet, Piqué winds his leg back, extends his arms out to his sides, and punts the ball square on. As the camera follows its flight, you can see the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building, which stands in Tokyo, letting us know that Piqué just sent a soccer ball on a path to fall several stories to a random spot in one of the most densely populated areas on the planet. He doesn’t look particularly remorseful, either, beaming and chuckling as he casually gestures towards the impact point even as a staffer can be seen rushing out the door, no doubt to see if anyone was injured or any property destroyed where the ball fell.
Online commenters in Japan failed to see the humor, responding to the tweet with sentiments including:
“What were you planning to do if it hit someone and they got hurt?”
“The hell are you laughing about?!?”
“Wow. You’re an imbecile.”
“Looks like the heat has fried your brain.”
“I always suspected you were a shithead.”
One upset Japanese Twitter user even went so far as to air his disapproval in Spanish, calling Piqué, literally, “son of bitch.”
ぴぴー太 (@pipita_liga) July 11, 2017
In the video, some of the Japanese people can be seen chuckling as well. It’s worth pointing out, though, that in Japan nervous laughter and smiles are often used as a last-ditch effort to avoid direct confrontation, and even then, multiple online commenters called the staff’s reaction inappropriate.
Look, Piqué, we’re happy you got a chance to show people you can kick a ball really far. But honestly, your job already gives you plenty of opportunities to do that in a way that doesn’t endanger people who are below you in altitude, but by no means importance, so maybe save that kind of showing off for the pitch?
Oh, and if we find your ball, we’re keeping it.