Global Sto­ries

Which is the strangest foot­ball city on earth? Buenos Aires? Athens? Rio de Janeiro? Not this month: it has all been hap­pen­ing in Manch­ester, for some rea­son

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

1 BEST FANCY DRESS COS­TUME EVER Eng­land Not­ting­ham

FourFourTwo has seen some pretty spe­cial fancy dress get-ups over the years, but a man turn­ing up to a party dressed as a Rene Hi­gu­ita scor­pion kick may just about top the lot. Not con­tent with merely stick­ing a perm on and pre­tend­ing to be the Colom­bian goal­keep­ing leg­end/loon, the japester de­picted Hi­gu­ita laid on a gi­ant plinth, balanc­ing a foot­ball on his feet, to recre­ate his ac­ro­bat­ics at Wem­b­ley in 1995. Bravo, sir.

2 FANS WANT THEIR WANG OUT Nether­lands The Hague

We know things are quite lib­eral in the Nether­lands, but fans of Ere­di­visie club ADO Den Haag seemed to be tak­ing it all a bit too far when they un­veiled a ‘Wang out’ ban­ner dur­ing their game against Utrecht. As it turned out, how­ever, this was not some sort of call for mass nud­ism, or even a child­ish joke, but a se­ri­ous protest against the club’s Chi­nese chair­man Wang Hui. Still it was all pretty funny, though...

3 HE’S SMARTER THAN THE AV­ER­AGE WOLF, JOGI Rus­sia Kazan

If there’s one thing Ger­many coach Jogi Löw is good at, it’s pos­ing next to a gi­ant wolf with­out look­ing awk­ward in any way. Well, maybe a bit. Löw rel­ishes such ex­pe­ri­ences so much that he flew over to Kazan just to meet up with Rus­sia’s 2018 World Cup mas­cot Zabi­vaka, on the pre­text that he was at­tend­ing the draw for the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup. He man­aged to avoid putting his hand down his pants and sniff­ing his fin­gers this time.

4 ADE­BAYOR’S SEA LIFE LOVE Togo Lome

Em­manuel Ade­bayor has been with­out a club since leav­ing Crys­tal Palace back in the sum­mer, so he’s been sit­ting on the bon­net of his mas­sive car and then post­ing pic­tures on In­sta­gram. Back in his home coun­try of Togo, his snaps have been ac­com­pa­nied by the phrase ‘SEA life’s good’ – a ref­er­ence to the for­ward's name, Sheyi Em­manuel Ade­bayor, not an en­dorse­ment for the Sea Life Sanc­tu­ary in Manly.

5 SCH­NEI­DER­LIN WISHES HE WAS SOLD Eng­land Manch­ester

What do WAGs do while their part­ners are off to Everton for a foot­ball match? They get dressed in Santa cos­tumes and run round Old Traf­ford, of course. Mor­gan Sch­nei­der­lin’s fi­ancee Camille Sold was joined by the girl­friends of Juan Mata and An­thony Mar­tial for the 5k char­ity fun run. Sold ran ex­actly 5k fur­ther than her part­ner that day – Sch­nei­der­lin didn’t even make the bench for Man United at Good­i­son.

6 VUITTON DRESSED AS HAM Spain Gui­juelo

There was only one thing that peo­ple were talk­ing about when Atletico Madrid vis­ited Gui­juelo for a Copa del Rey clash. Never mind the Ro­ji­blan­cos' 6-0 trounc­ing – did you check out the Gui­juelo physio’s bag? It wasn’t ex­actly Ralph Lauren or Louis Vuitton – the bag was made to look like an ac­tual ham. The Gui­juelo area is fa­mous for its ham – last term the Se­gunda Divi­sion B club’s away kit was de­signed to look like meat. Lady Gaga would be jeal­ous.

7 “CAN YOU SIGN THIS CHEESE?” Eng­land Manch­ester

Prob­lem: you’ve just bumped into your club’s new sign­ing, but you don’t have a piece of pa­per to hand. So­lu­tion: ask him to sign a piece of cheese in­stead. Manch­ester City new boy Gabriel Je­sus duly obliged when a woman thrust the dairy at him and asked for an au­to­graph, but he did look rather baf­fled. It wasn’t like this in Brazil.

8 PUT SOME CLOTHES ON, MAN USA Colorado

Seat­tle Sounders star Zach Scott must have seen the ban­ners at Den Haag and got con­fused. Ei­ther that or he was in high spir­its af­ter his side’s play-off win at Colorado Rapids, so he de­cided to strip off – save for a fetch­ing pair of san­dals and the Western Con­fer­ence tro­phy to help pro­tect his mod­esty. Things got even bet­ter for Seat­tle when they beat Toronto to lift the MLS Cup – we don’t even want to look at the pic­tures he prob­a­bly posted af­ter that.

9 COV’S SOM­BRE PROTEST Eng­land Coven­try

Dif­fi­cult times con­tinue at Coven­try City, where fans donned black cloaks be­fore car­ry­ing a cof­fin to the Ri­coh. “The body will be cre­mated and the ashes taken back to High­field Road,” said a fans group, in a protest against own­ers Sisu. The good news is the club rose again an hour later, to play MK Dons. The bad news is that they lost.

10 SCH­NEI­DER­LIN WISHES HE WAS JU­LIA ROBERTS Eng­land Manch­ester

Ju­lia Roberts in­ex­pli­ca­bly pitched up in Manch­ester re­cently – sadly no one asked her to sign any of their ched­dar, so in­stead she larked about on the Old Traf­ford play­ing sur­face with Michael Car­rick, Coleen Rooney and friends. Pre­sum­ably Mor­gan Sch­nei­der­lin was seething about it – he’d been ask­ing to go out onto the pitch for months.

11 BOARD­ING CARD, PLEASE Por­tu­gal Lis­bon

Ben­fica’s team-talk be­fore their derby with Sport­ing: “Right lads, big game tonight, make sure you’re fully fo­cused – oh, but when you come off af­ter the warm-up, can you run past the air­port check-in desk that we have ran­domly placed at the side of the pitch?” Ben­fica are spon­sored by Emi­rates, so air­line staff turned up and pre­tended it was a real air­port. Things got awk­ward when Luisao for­got his pass­port and ex-Ful­ham flop Kostas Mitroglou was in­formed the dress­ing room had been over­booked and he’d have to wait on a nearby bench for at least 90 min­utes un­til the sit­u­a­tion was re­solved...

12 “WHERE’S MY WET T-SHIRT TRO­PHY?” Spain Madrid

What ad­ver­tis­ing Emi­rates gained at Ben­fica, they lost at the Bern­abeu. Real Madrid wore a spe­cial kit against Sport­ing Gi­jon, made from re­cy­cled plas­tic from the ocean. That makes it good with wa­ter, right? Wrong. The Emi­rates logo washed off the kit when it rained, turn­ing the match into some sort of wet T-shirt con­test. Cris­tiano Ron­aldo didn’t look very im­pressed.

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