AROUND THE WORLD In 12 STO­RIES

Maradona trad­ing in­sults with The Simp­sons and the globe’s scari­est birth­day cake – crazy things don’t stop hap­pen­ing just be­cause it’s sum­mer, you know

Australian Four Four Two - - UPFRONT -

1 SENT OFF FOR FART­ING Swe­den Soder­talje

Left-back Adam Ljungkvist found a novel way to earn a red card dur­ing an ap­pear­ance for Per­sha­gens, pick­ing up a sec­ond book­ing for fart­ing. “I was stand­ing a good dis­tance away, but I heard the fart loud and clear – it’s the strangest thing I’ve seen on a pitch,” op­po­nent Kristof­fer Linde said. “I had a bad stom­ach so I sim­ply let go,” Ljungkvist protested. “I asked the ref­eree, ‘What, am I not al­lowed to break wind a lit­tle?’ I don’t get it. Maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.”

2 IS THE BOSS AL­WAYS THIS QUIET? Ger­many Ham­burg

St Pauli boss Ewald Lienen couldn’t make it to the pho­to­call an­nounc­ing the sign­ing of striker Marvin Ducksch, so the Ger­man club had to im­pro­vise. Cue St Pauli pub­lish­ing pic­tures of the new ar­rival as he posed along­side some bloke wear­ing a mask of the man­ager’s face. Ducksch, mean­while, bore the ex­pres­sion of a man won­der­ing what the hell he’d got him­self into.

3 THANKS FOR THIS, GARY Eng­land Berk­shire

We’re not golf­ing ex­perts, but we’re pretty sure the nor­mal dress code isn’t to turn up stark­ers save for a less-than-fetch­ing pair of Le­ices­ter City un­der­pants. Blame Gary Lineker. Berk­shire-based Foxes fan John Guest, 53, was so in­spired by Lineker’s prom­ise to pre­sent Match of the Day in his keks that he made his own bet if Le­ices­ter won the league, re­sult­ing in him turn­ing out for a round of golf in sim­i­lar at­tire. Let’s hope the craze doesn’t spread to the rest of Le­ices­ter. No one wants to see a half-naked En­gel­bert Humperdinck play­ing kabaddi or dig­ging up Richard III.

4 IF ONLY RORY DELAP HAD BEEN BORN A WOMAN...

USA Rochester

A foot­balling rev­o­lu­tion is go­ing on in the Na­tional Women’s Soc­cer League, where matches are now be­ing played on pitches the size of a postage stamp. OK, it wasn’t quite that small, but Western New York Flash faced Seat­tle Reign on a field only 58 yards wide, with just seven yards be­tween penalty area and touch­line. The match took place in a cor­ner of a base­ball field, with the Flash’s usual home un­avail­able be­cause of a con­cert. Both clubs were unim­pressed, but we sus­pect Rory Delap would have loved it.

5 SCOT­TISH FOOT­BALL’S GONE TO THE DOGS Scot­land In­ver­ness

Ul­tras were out in force when In­ver­ness Cale­do­nian This­tle took to the field for a friendly against Clach­nacud­din. Among those pic­tured cheer­ing on Caley This­tle in the front row was a sup­porter with four legs and a sus­pi­ciously wet nose. If we didn’t know any bet­ter, we’d sug­gest it was a dog – and even worse, it was wear­ing last year’s kit. Dogs, eh? Al­ways so be­hind the times.

6 DIEGO VS HOMER Ar­gentina Buenos Aires

Diego Maradona isn’t a big fan of The Simp­sons, and mak­ers of The Simp­sons don’t much like him either. Maradona used his ap­pear­ance on a ra­dio show to be­moan the state of mod­ern TV, sin­gling out The Simp­sons as a show he hates. Cue a ri­poste from the man who pro­vides the voice of Homer Simp­son in the Latin ver­sion of the show, who de­scribed Maradona as a “big-tit­ted fat guy”. And, voic­ing Homer, he would know.

7 MIURA SCORES AGED 49 Ja­pan Yoko­hama

Re­mem­ber Kazuyoshi Miura, Ja­pan’s star man in the days be­fore Hidetoshi Nakata turned up? Nakata re­tired a decade ago but Miura, 10 years his se­nior, re­cently beat his own record as the old­est scorer in J-League his­tory. The Yoko­hama FC star is now 49 and started his ca­reer with Brazil­ian side San­tos, pre­sum­ably form­ing a fine part­ner­ship with a teenage Pele.

8 MY BIG FAT GREEK FOOT­BALLING REFUGEE CAMP Greece Pi­raeus

In the home city of Greek cham­pi­ons Olympia­cos, mi­grants have been prac­tis­ing their own foot­ball skills at a makeshift refugee camp. Around 1,500 mi­grants set up home at the port city of Pi­raeus, al­though the Greek gov­ern­ment have been mak­ing at­tempts to evac­u­ate them to a more suit­able lo­ca­tion.

9 NEW BALLS, PETR! Eng­land Wim­ble­don

Is it us, or are ball­boys at the ten­nis get­ting taller? One of the ball­boys at Wim­ble­don this year was 6ft 5in and an ab­so­lute dead ringer for Petr Cech. Oh, hang on – it was Petr Cech. Within days of his re­turn from Euro 2016, the Arse­nal and Czech Re­pub­lic goal­keeper was try­ing out at the All Eng­land Club, help­ing out his com­pa­triot, Radek Stepanek, dur­ing prac­tice. He had the cor­rect gear and ev­ery­thing: pre­sum­ably skull caps aren’t al­lowed at Wim­ble­don.

10 DON’T HAVE NIGHT­MARES, KIDS Eng­land Liver­pool

What bet­ter way to cel­e­brate Jur­gen Klopp’s birth­day than to cre­ate the world’s most ter­ri­fy­ing birth­day cake? Cake artist Ben Cullen spent four days recre­at­ing Klopp’s head in ed­i­ble form, but the manic grin on the Liver­pool man­ager’s face is pos­si­bly the scari­est thing any­one’s ever seen out­side of a Ja­panese hor­ror film. Just the sight of Klopp on the touch­line this sea­son will give us flash­backs.

11 BIELSA AR­RIVES! BIELSA QUITS! Italy Rome

Not con­tent with quitting Mar­seille just one game into last sea­son, Marcelo Bielsa sur­passed him­self with a two-day stint as man­ager of Lazio this sum­mer. July 6: An­nounced as Lazio’s new boss. July 7: Sends let­ter to club com­plain­ing they haven’t signed any of his trans­fer tar­gets (it’s been lit­er­ally 24 hours, man). July 8: Bielsa quits. That went well.

12 COME ON, TIM! USA Or­lando

Ever won­dered what hap­pened to Werder Bre­men and Ger­many goal­keeper Tim Wiese? Two years af­ter leav­ing Hof­fen­heim when he tired of foot­ball and be­gan to train like a body­builder, the 34-year-old has been in­vited to join the WWE Per­for­mance Cen­tre in Florida with a view to mak­ing his wrestling de­but in Novem­ber.

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