Marseille soccer fan turns ceremonial kickoff into breakaway goal

By Alex Butler  |  Sept. 26, 2017 at 1:13 PM
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Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A fan of the French soccer club Olympique Marseille scored the first goal for his team during the ceremonial kickoff.

Kamel Zaroual, 36, was the fan who notched the score.

He watched the referee place the ball at midfield and was motioned to go toward Marseille's side. Instead of taking a slight tap to his favorite team, he flipped the ball behind him and took off through the Toulouse FC defense. He weaved between the defenders before ripping a near-post shot with his right foot. The ball skipped past a diving Alban Lafont for the score. The keeper did a great job humoring the fan, appearing to display maximum effort on the attempt.

After netting the goal, he put his shirt over his head in celebration and got a hug from the coach on the sideline.

Marseille won the match 2-0 on Sunday at Orange Velodrome in Marseille.

Zaroual was chosen for the honor after completing a 1,800-kilometer cycling journey from Arles and Amiens to raise money for children with disabilities.

"I am not a professional cyclist, the only doping substances I take are beer and cigarettes," Zaroual recently to La Provence. "But besides that, I drink a lot of water and I eat a lot of fruit on the road to keep up. "

Zaroual publishes his journey on Facebook and on Snapchat.

"Bike or on the ground, it's unstoppable," Marseille wrote on Twitter. "Bravo Kamel."

Marseille faces FC Red Bull Salzburg at 1 p.m. Thursday in the UEFA Europa League at Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, Austria.

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