Wout Faes is, by any definition of the word, an elite soccer player.
The center-back made a name for himself as the captain of one of Belgium’s youth national teams, helping the U17 win a bronze medal at the 2015 UEFA U-17 World Cup. Faes also worked his way through the Anderlecht training academy, before spending time two years each with Oostende, and Reims. He was Reims’ Player of the Year a season ago.
Faes joined Leicester City this season for a transfer fee reportedly worth £15 million. His contract is for a five-year deal.
Faes was also a member of his country’s World Cup team last month, although he did not make an appearance for Belgium during their run of play in Qatar.
Still, by any use of the word, he is an elite soccer player.
But you can bet Faes would like to forget Friday’s match against Liverpool.
In the span of just seven minutes, Faes scored not one, but two, own goals, turning a 1-0 Leicester City lead into a 2-1 deficit to Liverpool. The first came on a freakish bounce off an attempted clearance from Faes, tying the match at 1-1:
Then, just minutes later, Faes raced back to try and help as his keeper was forced to come off the line. A chip shot from Darwin Núñez outside the box was bouncing towards the net, and ricocheted off the right post.
Directly into Faes’s path:
Liverpool held on for the 2-1 victory, keeping them sixth in the EPL table. Leicester City’s loss keeps them in the bottom third, just four points clear of the drop zone.
Again, Faes is by any way you look at it an elite player.
But Friday was just not his day.