Ukraine hero Artem Dovbyk sparked wild scenes last night after firing his nation to an extra-time win over Sweden at Euro 2020 – but he has been bizarrely been accused of wearing a sports bra by a number of social media users.
Dovbyk, 24, nodded home from close range, just when the last-16 clash looked set to be decided on penalties, and wheeled away in wild celebration while quickly whipping his top off.
Underneath, he could be seen wearing a crop-top vest, which was adorned with the STATSports logo, and the surprising sight led to viewers quickly taking to Twitter to share their bemusement.
The device is one of the in-demand products from a GPS monitoring and analysis company, whose services are used by a variety of Premier League clubs to help improve performance.
Players wearing the vests enable their coaches to track certain statistics, including speed, acceleration, heart rate and distance covered – which allows clubs to tailor sessions to get the best out of their squad.
Handily, any information gathered from the technology can be streamed to a phone, tablet or smartwatch, making for easy reading for staff who will then decide what their stars should or shouldn’t be doing.
Artem Dovbyk (right) scored an extra-time winner for Ukraine in their showdown with Sweden
The device, which was designed by STATSports, allows the performance of stars to be tracked
This didn’t appear to be common knowledge, however, judging by the shocked reaction from a number of people.
HOW IT WORKS?
GPS trackers, like the one worn by Artem Dovbyk, are popular among many leading football clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool.
The brand is endorsed by England stars, Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire and Harry Kane.
The technology can analyse 16 measures of performance, including maximum speed, distance covered, sprint distances, intensity and fatigue.
The devices also produce heat maps to demonstrate the area of the pitch the player is operating in and gives sprint directions.
The devices assist coaching staff in games and in training. They can be used to analyse performance such as positional play, recovery runs to take up defensive positions and attacking moves. The data may inform a substitution, if a player is beginning to tire.
In addition, they are crucial to managing the physical load on a player. If performance drops off it may be an indication of fatigue. Or, if a player has performed at a high physical level, coaches will tailor training sessions to allow them to recover.
‘Why is the Ukraine striker Dovbyk wearing a sports bra?’ one user questioned.
Another wrote: ‘Dovbyk is the first professional male athlete I’ve ever seen who wears a sports bra.’
In comical fashion, a third chose to adopt the classic chant ‘He scores when he wants’ for their own purposes, and changed the lyrics to: ‘He scores in a bra, he scores in a braaaaa. Artem Dovbyk, he scores in a bra.’
‘Artem Dovbyk has just immortalised himself by scoring the biggest goal in Ukrainian history, and immediately whipping (sic) his shirt off to reveal a sports bra. Just brilliant,’ a fourth posted.
Another said: ‘Dovbyk scores the winner, wheeks the shirt off to reveal what can only be described as a sports bra… there are no words.’
Perfectly summing up the feeling of confusion, a sixth user said: ‘Still not sure about Dovbyk’s sports bra.’
STATSports are a Northern Ireland-based company and, since being founded in 2007, have gone on to work with a host of elite teams around the world and help aid their sports science departments.
‘People are able to take that data during games and make decisions,’ co-founder Sean O’Connor told The Times last year.
‘What that allows you to do is build a profile on a player. You expect a player to do X, Y, Z in training and games. When they start to move away from those norms it can be for good or bad reasons.
‘If they are in a training session and there is 25 minutes left and they have gone way past what you normally expect them to do, then you can make a call to either taper it off or take them in early.
‘It’s the same concept in a game as well. If the manager is deciding between two players to replace, he could ask his coach: ‘what feedback can you give, physically’.’
The device is said to cost around £200, and has been used by the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
A triumphant Ukraine will now take on England in the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 on Saturday
But a number of social media users were left baffled, and instead said the vest was a sports bra
It has now been revealed that Ukraine also use the technology, and forward Dovbyk’s numbers during the pulsating final moments of the victory would have made for gripping reading.
His last-gasp intervention has set up a quarter-final tie against England, who knocked out old foes Germany yesterday, on Saturday night in Rome.
Dovbyk arrived at the front post from close range to head home a cross and seal the victory