Per Mertesacker, the Arsenal captain, was caught out by a team of pranksters after unknowingly donating money to a ‘missing persons fund’ for team-mate Mesut Özil.
The 32-year-old centre-half fell victim to the presenters of YouTube channel ‘Cheeky Sport’ who have tricked several Premier League footballers into giving money to various causes.
The channel’s videos show the likes of Nathan Ake, Willian and Ilkay Gundogan falling for the prank after a collection bucket is stuck through their open car window.
In Mertesacker’s video, the defender is asked to “donate to the fund” after a bucket is held in front of him, with the specifics of the cause hidden from him.
Mertesacker then drops some change into the bucket, which has a picture of Özil and the words ‘missing person’ stuck to the opposite side.
Özil is regularly criticised for a perceived tendency to ‘hide’ in Arsenal matches, particularly in important games against fellow top clubs.
The £42.6million signing from Real Madrid, regarded as one of Arsenal’s best players, is currently at the centre of a contractual impasse with the club.
The Germany international is yet to sign extended terms at the Emirates as he holds out for a salary closer to the Premier League’s top earners.
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal’s top scorer this season, is locked in a similar stalemate as he demands wages of around £250,000-a-week to stay on in north London.