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
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...
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.