Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi has endless records to cherish but has hit the goal-post or bar a larger number of times than any other player in a single LaLiga season.
Lionel Messi may be a specialist with regards to putting the ball in the net but the Argentine genius is likewise productive when it comes to near misses. Fourteen times the Argentinian has been denied by post or bar in LaLiga, 17 times in all competitions.
Having set up Luis Suarez’s opener in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Eibar with a rich pass, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner shook the upright bar with a shot before half-time.
It implies Messi has now been denied by post or crossbar in LaLiga 14 times this season, equalling a record he set himself in 2011-12.
Deportivo, Betis, Alaves, Getafe, Athletic, Celta and Atletico Madrid are the teams against whom Messi has been unlucky on certain occasions.
The 30-year old is without a goal in his last three League games but at the same time has 20 goals out of 24 top-flight appearances this term.
14 – Lionel Messi has hit woodwork 14 times in La Liga this season, more than any other player in a whole season of this competition (at least 2003/2004). Wood pic.twitter.com/V5OviUDdfu
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 17, 2018
Gregoire Akcelrod: The Fake Footballer Who Conned Elite Clubs
Akcelrod managed to fool an elite European club into believing he was a real player, A fake footballer has told the story of how he convinced a Champions League club to offer him a £15,000 per week contract.
At 10 years old, the Frenchman was like any young boy with a dream. The only problem was he was terrible at football. His own father thought he was so bad that he banished him from playing out of pure embarrassment.
Recalling his first memory of football, Paris-born Akcelrod told mail: ‘
I played my first game in front of my father at 10 years old. It was like the Champions League final for me.
‘We played against a good team and we lost 4-0. When we were in the car on the way back he said, “Greg, I am so upset. You are so bad. You are so lazy. I don’t want to see you anymore on a football pitch.”
‘I was shocked. Being with my friends on the football pitch was the best time of my week.’
Between the age of 10 and 18, Akcelrod was banned from playing football due to his lack of ability. The youngster only ever played in his garden but still never gave up the dream of playing professional football – mainly as he wanted to prove his dismissive father wrong.
One day at school, an idea struck – Akcelrod created a fake website that claimed he was a professional player playing for PSG’s reserves.
He would copy and paste match reports from the L’Equipe newspaper and took out the name of the star striker – such as Nicolas Anelka – and replaced it with his own.
The information wasn’t a complete lie – Akclerod was playing for PSG – but for the club’s amateur side in the bottom tier of French football – a level which he himself describes as ‘the worst in France’.
The 38-year-old claimed:
‘You can be Cristiano Ronaldo in the fifth team and nobody watches you. Nobody watched me at PSG because it was just for “kick and run” players.’
At this point, Akcelrod had been cut off by his affluent family for choosing football over a proper education and career.
At 19, the Frenchman, whose grandmother inherited a fortune from Oscar-winning actor Maurice Chevalier after a 15-year marriage, was working in McDonald’s and living in a small studio flat in France.
As part of the facade, Akcelrod even went to the effort of sneaking onto the PSG pitch one day to take ‘official’ photos of him in full PSG kit. His website and CV were then sent to some of the biggest clubs in England.
Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal turned him down, but second-tier side Swindon Town gave him a shot in the summer of 2003.
It was one of two occasions where the player trialed with the Robins.
‘On the first day of the trial I was so unfit physically and tactically I was lost,’ Akcelrod recalled.
‘In the practice game, the goalkeeper hit a long ball, I tried to head it but it hit me square in the face. Everybody laughed.’
The Frenchman wasn’t selected for the second day of the trial but still turned up at the County Ground for the other players’ practice match in front of the fans.
Irrespective of his talent, Akcelrod’s persistence was noted and manager Andy King gave him a second chance by giving him 20 minutes in a practice game. But no contract was offered – his first day at the trial had done enough damage.
There were offers amid the rejections too. Professional clubs in Luxembourg offered Akcelrod a contract but the Frenchman turned them down – they were too ‘small’ for him.
But the right offer nearly came in the summer of 2009, when Akcelrod was asked to train at Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, who had just qualified for the Champions League.
Convinced he was a PSG reserve team player, CSKA offered him a three-year contract worth £15,000-a-month – but an unfortunate series of events involving the club’s supporters saw the Bulgarian side spot the striker’s problem.
Akcelrod recalls: ‘
I did the two-day trial and on Sunday the coach told my agent that he wanted to sign me.
‘They took photos of my in the CKSA official jersey, I signed the contract, they published on the CSKA website that I was signing.
‘But it was the PSG fans who destroyed me. Overnight, one CSKA Sofia fan contacted a PSG online forum and asked, “We are about to sign Greg Akcelrod, what do you think about him?”
‘All the PSG fans didn’t know me. They said I was fake, they checked my website. But some of it was true, the video at Swindon for example.
‘The CSKA fan contacted every journalist in Sofia and it was revealed the club were going to sign a fake player.’
When Akcelrod came down for breakfast on Monday morning, nobody from CSKA wanted to know him anymore and he was asked to head back to France.
The Frenchman had other trials in Greece, Kuwait, and Canada and a year playing for Mississauga Eagles in the top Canadian division was enough for him to finish his story.
Akcelrod is not the first prankster to fool a top football club. The most famous example is Ali Dia back in the 1990s, who fooled Southampton and manager Graeme Souness into agreeing on a one-month deal.
Dia signed for the Saints in 1996 after Souness was contacted by someone claiming to be World Player of the Year George Weah. He recommended that Southampton sign his ‘cousin’ Dia, who had allegedly played and scored for PSG and Senegal.
Dia featured in one five-a-side trial and the next day faced Leeds United in a 2-0 defeat. He never made a second appearance for Southampton.
15 Funniest Names In Football As Of 2018-21
Which player do you think has the funniest name in football?
Once in a while in life, you have to be content with your lot. I for one, am definitely happy with the name given to me, but some of these footballers unquestionably have justification to file a child abuse case. I assume it has given them a tad of fame if nothing else.
This is surely true in the world of funny football names.
This article was first published on February 26, 2018, just bringing it back to the audience.
CheapGoals compiled a list of the 15 funniest names in football.
It’s neither big nor clever to laugh at funny names but nevertheless remains stubbornly amusing. Take a look and see if one of these tickles your funny bone. Or, perhaps, one will motivate you to concoct your very own name.
Dutch and Ajax defender Daley Blind is nothing compared with his name as he has struggled hard to secure a starting line-up under Jose Mourinho. This is a direct result of his immeasurable foresight to defend against average opponents. is he technically blind?
The Premier League introduced drinks breaks in 2015, and the Internet couldn’t get enough of this exceptionally thirsty Chelsea player. Thinking of getting a fitness trainer? This midfielder always reminds us all to stay hydrated.
Whitehead is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Huddersfield Town. his surname ( Whitehead ) has made him more prevalent than his professional career. Next time, if your abilities don’t make you famous just change your name to an amusing one.
This Argentine goalkeeper prefers his first name Fabian, his name is very apt and to be fair, everyone has their own sexual preference, right?
Forget Jesus Christ, Bongo Christ is the new name on the block. The Congolese striker played for a host of clubs including Hannover 96 and SV Wilhelmshaven. When next you’re scared just say the name ‘Bongo’.
Răzvan Dincă Raț is a Romanian Rat, oh sorry, a footballer who plays for Spanish club Rayo Vallecano as a left-back. He doesn’t move like a rodent, nor have a keen sense of smell to sniff dirty kits, don’t know why he is called that.
Johnny Don’t be a dick! Well, this is extraordinarily amusing, John played more than 250 games for Arsenal during the mid-1900s.
In an extremely well-known article, a daily newspaper in London printed the headline saying “ARSENAL TO PLAY TOMORROW WITH DICKS OUT“.
As hilarious as it might sound, it went ahead to be a huge joke, which wasn’t forgotten for a long time!
As hilarious as it may be sound, it’s actually not funny not to have seen his actual picture. Not just a critical bit of historical significance, Norman Conquest was also an Australian goalkeeper who played in the late 1940s.
He would most likely be a name yearned for by few explorers in the present era and the first owner was posthumously inducted into Australia’s Hall of Fame. However, the goalkeeper did not attempt to invade England.
Mahatma Gandhi Pires
This Brazilian footballer is not something out of the ordinary in a country where the game is worshipped. So what’s the big deal about him? You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Fourpence is a Zimbabwean player who plays for Kiglon Bird FC. He really does sound like a character from one of James Bond’s film: “The game is up Fourpence” (If you didn’t say that in Sean Connery’s voice then you are not my friend).
Unfortunately, he is better known for his funny name rather than his footballing abilities. Fourpence gets an extra bonus for being the best named among a team of staggering funny names.
Here are some of the funny names that featured in Fourpence’s team:
Cunning Muzuva, Raymond Undi, Blessing Makunike, Marvel Samaneka, Heavens Chinyama, Givemore Manuella, Gift Makolonio, Method Mwanyazi, Limited Chicafa, and Zambian Laughter Chilembe.
READ ALSO: Top 10 Ugliest Footballers As At 2016- 2017
Has there ever been a more menacing-sounding name than this defender from Argentina’s 1978 World Cup-winning side?
He played for the Njube Sundowns in Zimbabwe, excessively few parents would take the opportunity to get hyphens involved with their child’s name. Unless my pronunciation is off track, this must be the most tragic collaboration of names at any point concocted. No pictorial representation please Have-A-Look at the next one.
Relax, this player is not a character from the early 90’s American crime film ‘Goodfellas‘ but rather he is the former captain of the Seychelles national team. According to reports, he is considered a legend of the East Africa country and I believe it’s not a direct result of his name.
As far as anyone knows, Bandeet is an Algerian footballer in the 1970s, there is by all accounts thin confirmation of his existence but was certainly included in any case.
The two name choices are controversial and possibly that is the reason we are discussing them instead of discussing football abilities.
Buzzing around, and irritating opposition defenders… yep, I guess that’ll work. But whoever decided that this Brazilian Footballer should be known by such a name is both heartless and an absolute genius.
This post is not meant to hurt any sentiments