THE MAYOR of Madrid may want to reconsider the next time he is invited to kick a ball at a public event. At the inauguration of a municipal rugby pitch on Friday, José Luis Martínez-Almeida managed to whack a photographer in the face with a wayward kick of a rugby ball. It marked the third time he’s managed to hit someone the same way. 

Friday’s incident took place in the Madrid neighbourhood of Ensanche de Vallecas, where the Las Leonas pitch was being officially opened. The mayor’s kick hit the photographer square in the face, prompting him to immediately apologise. 

Back in February 2020, the mayor was at another inauguration, this time of a football pitch. In an attempt to take a penalty, he managed to send the ball straight into the face of a small child who was standing at the side of the goal. The ball did, at least, deflect off the youngster into the back of the net. 

And then in 2021, in the Atlético de Madrid football ground, he managed to kick a ball into the head of another photographer, this time at a cancer charity event.

The Popular Party mayor did, at least, see the funny side of his hat trick of unfortunate shots. On Twitter, he shared the video recently published by Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué, who is hanging up his boots. “Madrileños, I also have to tell you something: I’m ending the honorary kick-offs.” He added the hashtag “#photographerswelcome”.

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