5 Nov, 2022 @ 13:30
1 min read

Mayor of Madrid manages to boot ball into someone’s face – for the third time

Extraordinary Procession Of Maria Santisima De La Paloma In Malaga, Spain 23 Oct 2021
Mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Martinez Almeida attends the extraordinary procession of Maria Santisima de la Paloma in Malaga. It is the first procession of a holy week brotherhood in Malaga since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic. (Photo by Francis Gonzalez / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Local Caption *** 35853087

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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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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