Messi to Manchester: The unimportance of truth in transfer rumours
Football is entertainment. Sometimes we forget this while developing ulcers over it and wishing cancer of the wrist upon opposing players and fans, but it is true. And like a blockbuster film based on a true story, reality is sometimes disregarded to make the explosions more enjoyably massive, the bust-ups more desirably dramatic and the bed hopping more tantalisingly whorish.
For a few long months each year, when European clubs are savouring their off-season and international sides are rambling around in that void, the transfer window rules the football empire and that disregard grows stronger.
Rumours of players to be sold dominate headlines like Charles Bronson atop the asylum. And whether the result of real negotiations or the idle imagination of a writer eager to lure in readers (Mwuahaha!), we gobble them up all the same. In the absence of the world’s top leagues, our football obsessions still need to be fed and rumours real and fake serve as a delightful summer binge of fatty convenience.
By the time one does come to fruition, and results in a footballer actually transferring his pricey services to another club, interest from all but his new biggest fans wanes and scampers off to the next shocking bid or desperate tug of war.
The truth these stories contain, even if it’s none at all, really doesn’t matter. Just so long as they entertain, even for a moment. Because summer can be boring. And hot. And supremely frustrating while you’re stuck at work, wishing you were passed out and sunburned on a beach somewhere.
So here are several fictional transfer rumours that you will hopefully allow to do a soft-shoe routine through your sluggish summertime thoughts.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal – A Spanish report run through Google Translate makes it clear that the new owner of La Liga’s single season scoring record misses England and is sick of being trapped in the shadow of David Villa’s soul patch. He’s also keen to help Arsene Wenger reassert himself in the Premier League. “His face is so sad,” the garbled report quotes him as saying. “I want to make his melted wax happy again.”
Steven Gerrard to Everton – It is understood that Everton made an audacious bid for the Liverpool captain upon learning that Gerrard once had his picture taken while wearing a Toffees kit as a small child. It is believed they dismissed questions over Gerrard’s loyalty to Liverpool by pointing out that virtue in professional football is a myth similar to the Yeti or Sam Allardyce.
Mario Balotelli to Manchester City – A source close to the situation (because he paints the lines on their training pitch) says that Balotelli and Man City are close to agreeing terms on a long-term deal that will bring the “real” Mario Balotelli to Eastlands. Though Balotelli was acquired by City last summer in a deal worth a reported £24 million, the 20-year-old Italian international now claims that he wasn’t really trying before. But if they pay another £24 million, they will get the true Mario Barwuah Balotelli, who does not throw darts at youth-team players or clock up endless parking tickets. The source says the FA Cup winners are very interested. And that he’s also selling a story about aliens landing on his shed, if you’re interested.
Go now and spread these rumours to your equally bored, football-loving brethren. Together, we can make this summer more entertaining than a sequel to The Hangover.
Follow Brooks Peck on Twitter @dirtytackle
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