We have all heard about Ripley's Believe it or Not. A tale of the weird and the wonderful from across the globe. From the likes of a cow with two heads to a man with the longest nails in the world, football too has its strange tales.
Whether it is a short or long tale, there have been a number of different bizarre stories down the years. Take for example former West Ham United player Marco Boogers who ended up living in a caravan. On the other hand, there are those stories which are so weird even reading them leaves many in disbelief.
There was the story of the Chilean under 21 national side who were fined for simply laughing. In the majority of cases, this would have literally been laughed off but the powers that be were extremely serious on this matter. Who knows if it was to do with an Englishman, Irishman and a Chilean, the FA sanctioned the players due to their comic misdemeanours.
Meanwhile, another odd story involved former Newcastle United player Clarence Acuna. The midfielder was pulled over after a Christmas party which took place back in 1999. Unfortunately for Acuna, he was pulled over for his erratic driving and cautioned by the police, whilst he was dressed in a ridiculous Captain Hook outfit. Fancy that!
Rewind back in time to 1894 and a quite bizarre game of soccer actually had three halves. A league match in England during the 19th century was contested between Derby County and Sunderland. The referee had to be replaced as he was late for the match and to add further insult to injury, after one half was played, the original referee turned up. Therefore, he requested the full 90 minutes of action where both teams endured all in all a grueling 135 minutes of play.
But what have been some of the other strangest football stories of all time?
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10 Balotelli Bib
Before a game, there is of course due care and consideration to take into account. However for maverick Italian striker Mario Balotelli, this took on an altogether different meaning. The former Manchester City striker was in the middle of warming up and had the trademark training bib on. However, in a case of shirts versus skins, Balotelli was unable to even place the bib over his head. This caused chaos for the Liverpool frontman as he struggled with the innocent party. A case of man versus bib was duly born as the papers went wild.
9 Franz Beckenbauer
Anyone heard of the after parties Franz Beckenbauer became embroiled in? Well it was an odd tale to say the least which was duly covered by one of Germany's biggest publications Der Spiegel. The former West Germany player and coach duly landed himself in hot water after Der Kaiser was invited by telecoms company O2 to enjoy his own special number, yet this was a little too personalized to say the least as Beckenbauer selected a number which had a prefix normally associated with phone chat lines. His cell was literally off the hook as many called him in order to have a little fun. In the end, Beckenbauer had enough in spite of a lucrative O2 ad campaign with his face splashed all over it.
8 Same Team Names
Another light hearted tale related around the theme of team names. Now there are a wide variety of players who have names which are hard to pronounce. But how about 20 players who all had the same name? This is precisely what happened when a game took place which featured people who went by the name of Bungay. It had nothing to do with Silvio Berlusconi as there were no bunga-bunga aspects in sight. However, a match was played out where everyone was called Bungay and it actually took place in Bungay, Suffolk. With less than 500 people called Bungay in the UK, this eccentric tale was a real sight.
7 Sold for Sausages
Over to Romania and a side was seeking a refund after they had purchased a player not in cold hard cash but for sausage meat. Believe it or not, this included 15 kilograms of the finest pork meat which was paid for defender Marius Cioara. At the time he was plying his trade for UT Arad who played their football in the second division. In spite of the jibes the centre back ended up retiring soon after. This was after he was unable to take any more abuse relating to this particular transfer. In fact he had to flee the country as the barrage of abuse was that much. This tale is right up there with George Costanza being traded from the Yankees for chicken from Tyler Chicken.
6 Ten Minute Manager
There have been coaches who have been the true embodiment of a club. Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge for nearly 27 years at Old Trafford, whilst Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal for more than 15 seasons. But for Leroy Rosenior, his managerial reign lasted all of 10 minutes. He was appointed and sacked in 600 seconds as he broke the record for the shortest time in charge of a club. According to the British tabloid The Sun, the press were informed he was appointed as manager. However he was told 10 minutes later that his services had been disposed of by Torquay United, as the club had been taken over.
5 Halfway Line Gamble
Every now and again, we all like a flutter on a match. Whether it is a full time score prediction or the number of goals scored, betting has become a worldwide phenomena when it comes to soccer. But for one chap, he managed to grab the headlines for his outrageous punt. According to the BBC, Adrian Hayward had placed a bet which eventually paid out in the most extraordinary circumstances. In 2006, Hayward put a bet on at nearly $500 on former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso scoring from the halfway line. As far as the odds were concerned, they were well and truly stacked against Hayward as it was a long shot of 125-1 to come to fruition. Yet, Alonso did exactly just that in the FA Cup game against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road and scored from the halfway line. As a result, Hayward picked up the princely sum of $50,000 for his troubles.
4 Salad Cream Gate
Every now and again, a footballer can become a little out of control and end up on the injury list. Whether that is through a lunge or a badly timed tackle, an injury can put a player out of action for a short not to mention longer period of time. But for some individuals, they have taken injuries to an altogether new level. Another reported incident which was completely out of the ordinary involved former Wimbledon keeper Dave Beasant. The first ever goalkeeper to save a penalty in the FA Cup Final, Beasant was at home when he dropped a jar of salad cream. After attempting to avoid the foody fiend, Beasant ruptured his ligaments in his ankle. Subsequently, he was out of action for up to two months. Maybe he should have used balsamic vinegar instead.
3 Taraabt Misses Bus
Even players can be so silly sometimes that they make it into the headlines for all the wrong reasons. For Queens Park Rangers midfielder Adel Taraabt, it was a case of literally missing the bus. The Morocco international stormed out during QPR's game against Fulham where Rangers were beaten by six goals to nil. The situation became so ridiculous that Taraabt was even asking fans for the updates of the result as the match was still going on. He was spotted at a pub, whilst he was also seen pictured at a bus stop as he made his way home with his minders. In keeping with Queens Park Rangers plight this season where they already have been relegated, Taraabt's tale is just as ridiculous as their current squad.
2 Sex on the Pitch
Now and again, we all like a nice cocktail to refresh us and one of the oldest favourites has to be Sex on the Beach. But for one couple, they took things a little too literally as a couple were uncovered on the Charlton Athletic pitch having relations. Home of the Addicks, reports from the Mirror in February 2015 revealed the naughty couple up to all sorts on the centre circle at the Valley. The unidentified pair were seen on the social media video uploader Vine which went viral in a big way. They had reportedly forced entry into ground based in London in the wee hours of the morning. Ironically they were found the morning after after a goalless draw between Brøndby and Randers, but these people sure had no trouble scoring on the pitch.
1 Ceiling Celebration
In the recent playoff match between Suffolk arch rivals Ipswich Town and Norwich City, a grand gesture was received by one lucky fan. After Ipswich midfielder Paul Anderson had equalized in the first leg at Portman Road, Tractors fan Ross Morgan tweeted a picture of his ceiling. This was after he had punched it in celebration and made a resulting hole in it. However, after tweeting the image to Anderson, he was then kindly offered the money by the player in order pay for the damage.
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