The plane flying England’s World Cup squad home from Qatar has been struck by the ball which was skied from the penalty spot by Harry Kane during the Three Lion’s quarter-final clash with France, it has emerged.
Flight pilots told air traffic controllers that a ‘UFO’ had collided with their plane, which was later identified as the size-5 Al Rihla World Cup ball the England skipper sent into orbit on Saturday night.
NASA confirmed the ball had re-entered the atmosphere at 11.00am GMT and struck the aircraft which is destined for Birmingham Airport.
The plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing while a safety inspection was carried out by engineers.
‘I was as surprised as anyone when the ball hit the plane’, Kane told Paddy Power News.
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‘FIFA used the same technology which proved Ronaldo did not make any contact with Bruno Fernandes’ cross to show me the ball hurtling beyond the orbit of Neptune’.
‘But NASA said it bounced off Pluto’s fifth moon, Kerberos, then changed trajectory and started heading back towards the Earth’.
‘If I’m honest, I’m surprised the ball didn’t burn up when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere but that’s football for you’.
Asked if he would be relinquishing his penalty-taking duties given what happened on Saturday, the 29-year-old said:
‘As long as the manager wants me to take them, I’ll keep putting them into orbit’.
‘It’s my job as a striker to hit the target or at the very least, keep the ball within the confines of our own solar system’.
‘So, I’m giving all the relevant aviation authorities a heads up that I’ll be practising my penalty kicks as soon as I get back to Tottenham’.
Meanwhile, despite the reappearance of Kane’s penalty, NASA have admitted there is still no sign of the ball struck by Riyad Mahrez from the penalty spot at Anfield in 2018.
‘It has boldly gone where no ball has gone before’, said a spokesperson.
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