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A notoriously exploitable image of Vladimir Beschastnykh, a Russian-born Bundesliga player for SV Werder Bremen, getting punted in between his legs by Helmut Rahner, a now-retired German football player.
The German Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and FC Werder Bremen took place on March 4th, 1994. The match resulted in 2:0 with Bayern München’s victory.
Google Image search results show approximately 450 instances: of Vladimirs’ injury. One of the earliest viral instances can be traced to December 2001, when the image was featured in the All Your Base Are Belong to Us flash animation. The routes of dissemination and other notable appearances are still being researched by the Know Your Meme research group (see “KYM discussion thread” below).
In English-speaking countries, this photo is typically the first Google search result for the phase “soccer player kicked in the balls.” But it is important to realize that most posts in which the image is labeled as such neglect to reveal the identities of the men in the photo. So it stands to reason that the image’s popularity has exceeded notability among fans; appealing to a more basic and juvenile appreciation for a kick in the balls.
KYM Research Group
Click here to discuss the prevalence / popularity of Vladimir’s Injury.
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