Around the world in 12 sto­ries

Suarez statue takes a dive, Maradona cheats at ice hockey and Zla­tan forms ten­ta­cles: the new sea­son is here and, frankly, it’s weirder than ever

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

1 BRAVEHEART MEETS BRAVEHEART Scot­land Ed­in­burgh

De­fender Colin Hendry was nick­named Braveheart dur­ing his play­ing ca­reer, so he de­cided to head over to Ed­in­burgh and meet the real thing.

Un­for­tu­nately, the Black­burn Rovers ti­tle-win­ner had to make do with an im­per­son­ator in­stead, as Mel Gib­son wasn’t avail­able and Wil­liam Wal­lace couldn’t make it as he’d died 700 years pre­vi­ously. Pretty poor ex­cuse, re­ally...

2

ED­WIN VAN DER SAR’S GO­ING TO BE A BIT BUSY Ge­or­gia Tbil­isi

Nether­lands su­per­fan Aram Aruti­nyan had a plan ahead of the Euro­pean U17 Cham­pi­onship in Ge­or­gia: get­ting his best ever XI inked in for­ma­tion order.

Van der Sar got the nod in goal with a de­fence of Krol, De Boer, Stam and Koe­man, a mid­field of Gul­lit, Ri­jkaard, Robben and Bergkamp, and a strike force of Cruyff and Van Bas­ten, with Ri­nus Michels cho­sen as the man­ager.

It looks bet­ter go­ing for­ward than de­fen­sively – so probably about right for the Nether­lands, then.

3 BOLTON VS BARNS­LEY? IS TOM HANKS IN THIS ONE? Eng­land Bolton

Bolton Wan­der­ers have announced a bizarre scheme for the new sea­son, in­stalling cin­ema seats by the pitch to al­low fans to re­cline and watch games.

Trot­ters sup­port­ers will win the seats via so­cial me­dia com­pe­ti­tions and will even be given com­pli­men­tary pop­corn. Plus, when a David Wheater clear­ance flies to­wards them and smacks them in the face, they won’t even need to wear 3D glasses to make it seem real.

4

WAYNE ROONEY: A TRUE AMER­I­CAN HERO USA New York

Tim Cahill cer­tainly knew the per­fect way to cel­e­brate spend­ing 4th of July in the USA: by get­ting his wife to dress up as Wayne Rooney, ob­vi­ously.

Rooney hadn’t even re­joined Cahill’s for­mer club by then, but it didn’t stop the Aussie giv­ing his mis­sus a Wazza mask and ask­ing her to pose for pics.

“Cel­e­brat­ing 4th of July with the main man,” he said. Af­ter all, there’s no one more Amer­i­can than Rooney.

5

TYP­I­CAL SUAREZ Uruguay Salto

It’s only 12 months since a statue of Luis Suarez was un­veiled in his home city – pre­dictably, it’s now hit the deck when it should have stayed on its feet.

The top­pling was blamed on van­dals who left an amus­ing note say­ing “I was at Messi’s wed­ding – I’ll be back soon”. How­ever, there were also ru­mours that the statue leapt in the air in an at­tempt to save a shot from a Ghana­ian striker, or sneak­ily stuck a leg out in the hope of making con­tact with lo­cals walk­ing past. Ei­ther way, the statue gen­uinely had its arm out ap­peal­ing for a penalty.

6

OP­TI­CAL IL­LU­SION Eng­land Lon­don

FFT was mo­men­tar­ily im­pressed when we spot­ted a pho­to­graph on Mousa Dem­bele’s Twitter ac­count, show­ing Tot­ten­ham’s Bel­gian mid­fielder lift­ing a man up into the air dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion ahead of the new sea­son.

Ex­cept, hang on a minute. On closer in­spec­tion, the bloke Mousa is lift­ing is... Mousa Dem­bele. We’ve been had.

7

THE FOOT OF GOD Rus­sia Saint Peters­burg

It’s been an­other quiet month for Diego Maradona, who headed to Rus­sia for the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup fi­nal and had a game of ice hockey, where he de­cided he didn’t need the silly stick and started kicking the puck for some rea­son. Ei­ther he hadn’t quite grasped the rules, or he was al­ready try­ing to cheat with the ice hockey ver­sion of the Hand of God.

Once that was all out of the way, he then headed to Naples, where a night out ended with him sat on top of a car flash­ing a nip­ple. Never change, Diego.

8

CRIS­TIANO, STOP SHOW­ING OFF! Spain Ibiza

You know how Cris­tiano Ron­aldo likes to al­ways stands on his tip­toes in team pho­to­graphs to look taller and up­stage all of his team-mates?

This time he has been busy up­stag­ing his own fam­ily, who had as­sem­bled for your av­er­age group photo, only for CR7 to climb up be­hind and tower over the party, do­ing some sort of bizarre sa­lute. OK, you’re the best, Cris­tiano, now will you get down please.

9 RUN, IT’S ZLA­TAN! Swe­den Stock­holm

Never one to draw at­ten­tion to the fact that he’s be­come so leg­endary that he is now be­ing im­mor­talised in bronze, Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic posted yet an­other progress re­port on his statue on Twitter – and it’s truly ter­ri­fy­ing.

A video showed a dis­em­bod­ied head with ten­ta­cles emerg­ing from his face. That knee in­jury has stressed him out...

10

“I WON­DER IF THIS FAL­CON CAN PLAY UP­FRONT?” Italy Vil­lasim­ius

Since be­com­ing a Premier League ti­tle win­ner, An­to­nio Conte has been happy to pose with any­body and every­body: last month he ran­domly turned up in 12 Sto­ries along­side a grime artist, now he’s next to a man dressed as a fal­con.

Conte was in Sar­dinia dur­ing a fam­ily hol­i­day when he met Falky the fal­con, pre­sum­ably named by the same bloke who came up with Ram­mie the ram at Derby. The Ital­ian’s smil­ing, though the eyes sug­gest the fal­con’s just told him that Romelu Lukaku’s joined Man United.

11

THAT’S BULL, REF! Bul­garia Sofia

There was noth­ing par­tic­u­larly no­table about a low-key clash be­tween Botev Plovdev and Cypri­ots AEL Li­mas­sol – well, not un­til a bull ran on the pitch.

The horned crea­ture wan­dered up and down for a bit while the play­ers pointed at it, pre­sum­ably in case the ref­eree hadn’t no­ticed that a mas­sive bovine had joined them. Then when it fi­nally ran off, the game still couldn’t restart be­cause a dog de­cided to join the fun. What on earth was go­ing on?

12

STREET AP­PEAL Tan­za­nia Dar es Salaam

So what do you do when a foot­baller ran­domly turns up in the lo­cal area? You il­le­gally re­name a street af­ter him, that’s what. A lo­cal coun­cil in Tan­za­nia did just that, un­veil­ing Vic­tor Wanyama Street dur­ing a visit from the Spurs ace, who was born in neigh­bour­ing Kenya.

Un­for­tu­nately they did not ac­tu­ally have per­mis­sion to do it and the sign was re­moved, though not un­til he’d gone. He’s been known to kick peo­ple up in the air, so it’s not worth the risk...

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