Subtle sexist, poetic Pelé and the boy named Rooney Scholes
Also, Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard shattered the irony meter, by slipping in front of The Kop and potentially throwing the league title away, only two weeks after rallying his troops: “This does not f****** slip!”
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich were so comfortably thumped by Real Madrid that Cristiano Ronaldo even had time to do an audition for American singer Beyoncé.
From slices of pizza to toilet paper; here’s a look at what the eccentric world of football threw at us in April, including (disclaimer) an overdose of Pelé.
In busting a drug trafficking ring, according to Sport, Spanish police have confiscated 300 grams of drug-filled candies shaped in the form of a Barcelona crest (This may explain why Lionel Messi has been all but sauntering around the pitch of late.).
While the Catalan club obviously had no part to play in the crime, it’s certainly in keeping with Barca’s recent tradition of bad press: From Qatar sponsor’s human rights issues to Eric Abidal’s unceremonious exit; from Messi’s tax-avoidance to the shady Neymar deal; and, most recent of all, illegal underage transfers.
“Someone is trying to damage Barca and we are investigating,” explained club president Josep María Bartomeu.
Best rights violation
According to the MEN, a three-year-old boy named ‘Rooney Scholes’ was refused a personalized Easter egg with only his first name on it, in fear of being sued by the United forward due to breach of copyright.
Instead, digging deep into their collective grey matters, the shop managers agreed to etch his full name, presumably because they were unaware who Paul Scholes is.
Finest bit of sensitivity
“That's normal, the stuff of life. These things happen” – Brazilian legend Pelé, giving his views on reports of death of workers on World Cup construction sites, on the day of the launch of a diamond collection made from the carbon contained in his hair (cue for the Chinese… to make replicas of Pelé).
So, what is his foremost worry?
“My biggest concern is the infrastructure — the airports,” Pelé was quoted by newspaper Estado de S.Paulo. “I returned recently (to Sao Paulo) and the airport was chaotic.”
Oh, long queues.
Staying in Brazil, a country in desperate need of sensitivity training, third division club Juventus-SC’s coach Celso Teixeira is accused of calling a lineswoman “hot chick” (in Portuguese) during a league match.
“I'd never be so dumb, I have no sexism,” raged Teixeira. “But I will say this, and it's not prejudice. If she was my daughter she wouldn't be wearing those shorts. Why must they be so tight?”
They’re clearly pointing the finger at the wrong man.
Best pre-match ritual
In Belgium, supporters of Standard Liege provided the most unique of disruptions when they showered toilet paper from the stands and delayed a match against Anderlecht for seven minutes.
The reasons behind the choice of product are not known -- perhaps it was simply the ease of its availability -- but if this spectacular sea of white could be repeated at Stamford Bridge, it would certainly be quite symbolic of the brand of football being played out on the pitch.
How far could a professional football player go for money? MLS club Columbus Crew’s striker Dominic Oduro revealed his ridiculous new haircut (and tweeted about it too) in the 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls last week. Oduro has celebrated goals in the past by eating a slice of his sponsor Papa John’s pizza but it seems he wasn’t scoring frequently enough and had quite a bit of making up to do.
The Ghananian went on to carve out a pizza slice on each side of his head to please his sponsor; and further promote the artery-clogging, obesity-stimulating American dream.
Alex Ferguson, in January, sticking to his guns: “I never understand why clubs change managers so quickly… it seems so stupid. You don't even need to go down that road (of sacking managers). Everybody knows what Manchester United is – it's absolutely 100%. Manchester United have always been that way.”
In April news: Manchester United are no longer that way.
Best sex talk
Atletico manager Diego Simeone, after reaching the Champions League final,deflecting praise towards a rather unusual source: “I want to thank the mothers of these kids, because they were born with balls this big (gestures to show substantial size).”
Moving on to a more conventional mention of sex organs, Brazil manager Phil Scolari has laid his ground rules: "The players can have normal intercourse during the World Cup. Usually normal intercourse is done in a balanced way, but some like to perform acrobatics. And that, no.”
"It might sound pretty rash and naive, but, in my opinion, we are dealing with a new Guardiola” – United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard’s assessment of his own assessment of Ryan Giggs is certainly spot on.
"Wigan need to get to 90 minutes as quick as they possibly can" – British pundit Andy Townsend advising the Latics on how to hold a lead: by breaking the time-space continuum.
“….and now Chelsea have something to defend” – Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville sums up the legacy of Jose Mourinho after the Blues went 1-0 up in the Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge.
Pelé, the anti-Octopus Paul, whose miserable predictions have scarred the world, who once predicted Nicky Barmby will become a world class star and who prompted Romario to say “when Pelé's quiet, he's a poet,” has backed Spain and Germany for the big prize this summer.
That’s the end of their hopes.
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