© FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023

Yesterday witnessed a regrettable incident after Germany's penalty shootout triumph (4-2) over Argentina in the Under-17 World Cup semifinals taking place in Indonesia. Social media became the conduit for insulting the Argentine goalkeeper for not saving the penalties.

The thrilling match had ended in a 3-3 draw, with River Plate's youth player Agustín Ruberto scoring in the last minute of regular time. After that, an unusual, change of goalkeepers in the Argentine team was decided by the Argentine coach Diego Placente.

In this manner, a penalty specialist (Villalba) entered the field instead of the youth player from Talleres, Jeremías Florentín, who had been the starting goalkeeper for almost the entire tournament. After the penalty shootout, the European team was more precise and sealed the 4-2 victory, making them finalists in the most important youth football tournament for players up to 17 years old.

Up to this point, it seems like just another sports story, but it was not. After the defeat of the South Americans, social media exploded against Jeremías Florentin, accusing him of being a "Coward," of being afraid, of not wanting to participate in the penalties with his teammates. The haters attacked him mercilessly for hours: "You can't be so bad"; "You betrayed your teammates"; "Sad for you"; were some of the aggressive phrases users posted under the photos shared by the young player. Tired of the insults and on the advice of the coaching staff, he had to disable comments on his Instagram account.

Despite the 17-year-old having no blame in Argentina's defeat and the decision coming from the Argentine coach, he remains an adolescent in training, an amateur athlete who should not receive insults from the anonymity and ease that social media provide in today's world.

Former Argentine national team goalkeeper and figure in Italy 90, Sergio Goycoechea, clearly criticized the actions of people on social media and defended the young player, who had turned 17 less than 3 months ago on the same social media platforms."Do all those who criticize and gratuitously attack have any idea of the cost of overcoming this? Do they know how long it takes a footballer to overcome such episodes? Please, I ask for a bit of consideration and respect. All my solidarity with Jeremías."

The mental health of individuals and also athletes (especially those in formative stages) is a crucial point in today's society, often not addressed as it should be due to the whirlwind of sports and the need for the business to continue, neglecting human feelings.