Every Tuesday, BetaSoccer highlights the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.
Simeone’s stages of grief
Barcelona paid the Wanda Metropolitano a visit for a clash with Atletico Madrid, and courtesy of Lionel Messi’s late winner, Atleti boss Diego Simeone swiftly went through the stages of grief, from disbelief to appreciation, and finally acceptance.
Griezmann’s rat tale
Staying put with La Liga’s marquee matchup, Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann’s return to the Spanish capital was greeted with toy rats, who were promptly offered a job at Crystal Palace’s training facility. A rat tale with no Rodrigo Palacio. How refreshing.
Zlatan’s statue goes up in flames
Griezmann’s plaque wasn’t the only tribute defaced last week. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fancy new bronze statue in Malmo was vandalized after the striker bought a stake in Malmo Swedish league rivals Hammarby.
Ibra’s effigy was lit on fire and one intrepid Malmo fan draped a toilet seat from the arm of the angular Swede’s likeness, the ultimate ode to a player who talks a lot of crap.
Saints’ stud Sofi’s toe blow
Sofiane Boufal entered the annals of freak injury lore when the Southampton wideman “hit his toe on the table at home,” as Saints boss Ralph Hassenhuttl put it.
“He ran into the kitchen and hit it on the table, something like that,” Hassenhuttl added, presumably leaving the details to a thorough investigation by Miss Marple. Leave it to the club that signed Ali Dia to know a thing or two about mysteries.
Luckily for Boufal, he overcame the toe woe to record five successful dribbles – including the one above – as a substitute in Saturday’s vital 2-1 win over Watford.
Liverpool’s computer-generated gimmickry
Premier League leaders Liverpool love a bit of folklore: The Kop, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Steven Gerrard’s slip, Pepe Reina’s beach ball gaffe, Andriy Voronin’s silky ponytail, etc. It’s a storied club with heaps of history.
It makes sense the club would recognize their legendary managers as part of an acknowledgment of antiquity, though the CGI recreations of Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly in this Standard Chartered advert are a bit weird.
No less bizarre is the decision to make Ian Rush out of Play-doh *taps earpiece* apologies, we’re hearing that’s actually Rush fresh off a visit to the local fake n’ bake. Brilliant stuff.
Getting touchy on the touchline in League Two
A weekend FA Cup tie got a kick in the pants when Plymouth Argyle boss Ryan Lowe exchanged expletive-laden pleasantries with Bristol Rovers assistant Joe Dunner.
“Don’t call my player a cheat, I’ll f—ing do you in,” Lowe can be heard screaming on the video not fit for little ones.
Dunner then says something about meeting him in the ASDA car park, missing an opportunity for a rumble at Bristol’s famous IKEA, which was coincidentally built at the site of the Rovers’ former Eastville Stadium digs.
Hopeless holiday ideas
The Weird Week was saddened to see the demise of seminal British humor blog “Who Ate All The Pies” earlier in 2019.
Thankfully, WAATPies scribe Chris Wright took his talents for finding the peculiarities in football to an occasional spot at ESPN, where most recently he updated a popular gag for the Worldwide Leader: The worst football-related gifts.
Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorites, including the links for the individual items if you fancy putting a few extra items around the tree.
Manchester United hair curling wand ($39)
For the Marouane Fellaini in your family.
Tottenham tissue box ($3.25)
Sad that Mauricio Pochettino got the sack or aroused by Dele Alli’s sudden return to form?
Anderlecht mauve ketchup ($4.40)
This one is for fans of Belgian giants Anderlecht, who currently sit eighth in the Jupiler League and have a lot of ketchup to do.
Napoli aquarium ($88)
A fitting tribute to Camorra victims from mafia-friendly Naples who are swimming with the fishes.