By Blair Newman, Football Whispers
In football, the confirmation of a new signing is supposed to whet the appetite. For fans of the club in question, it should be an exciting moment. However, the unveilings don’t always work out. The latest example of this was seen as Paulinho struggled to juggle the ball in front of supporters at his official announcement as a Barcelona player.
The Brazilian is by no means the only one to have caused a stir, for good or bad reasons, with the nature of his unveiling. Here, our friends at Football Whispers reminisce over some of the best and worst new signing announcements of all time.
Ryad Boudebouz to Real Betis
As one of the best performers in France last season, Boudebouz deserved so much more from his announcement as a Betis player. With ABBA’s ‘Voulez-Vous’ playing in the background, the tricky winger instructs the music to be turned off before confirming, “My name is Boudebouz.” While humorous, it lacked the sense of occasion that was befitting of a man who was directly involved in 20 Ligue 1 goals last term.
Theo Hernandez to Real Madrid
After impressing with his storming runs and powerful presence while on loan at Alaves from Atletico Madrid in 2016/17, Hernandez found himself the subject of interest from Real Madrid. He was eventually signed for a sizeable fee, which is custom for the Spanish and European champions. However, his keepie uppie technique left a lot to be desired. In front of the media and fans, he lost control on his third touch, started rotating by his fifth, and ballooned the ball into the air on his sixth. Not a good start.
Gokhan Inler to Napoli
For sheer ridiculousness, few signings in football will ever live up to the announcement of Inler as a Napoli player. A presentation of the club’s new home kit was scheduled to take place on a cruise ship in July 2011. At the presentation, someone wearing a lion mask bizarrely modelled the strip. After turning to reveal the shirt number, the mask was the pulled off to reveal Inler underneath it.
Diego Maradona to Napoli
Maradona is a deity in Naples thanks to his time with the club. In seven seasons there, he made over 200 appearances, scored over 100 goals and helped his side to two famous Scudetti. Reminiscing over the Argentine’s arrival at Napoli, David Goldblatt said that the fans “were convinced the saviour has arrived.” The icon was welcomed to the Stadio San Paolo by 75,000 supporters.
Jesus Navas to Sevilla
Footballers should never be forced to act, something that was re-confirmed by the viral announcement of Navas’ return to Sevilla. After being kidnapped and bundled unceremoniously into the back of a car, the former Manchester City man was led out onto the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. The winger then proceeded to pretend amazement. The acting was horrendous, topping off a video that was slightly uncomfortable all round.
Alvaro Negredo to Besiktas
“Come to Besiktas.” These were the words repeatedly uttered during a sensationally crap clip put together by the Turkish club to announce the signature of Negredo. Ricardo Quaresma and Pepe also starred in a video that was jarringly lacking in production quality, with poor sound and nightmare-inducing music. Of all the things to come out of modern technology, this was perhaps the worst. It was, however, annoyingly memorable.
Lorenzo Pellegrini to Roma
Perhaps the coolest signing of this summer came when Pellegrini returned to Roma. The club shared a clip of someone, wearing Roma kit, playing FIFA as Roma. They scored, and the player to put the ball in the net was Pellegrini. “But he doesn’t play for Roma, he plays for Sassuolo,” the audience no doubt uttered to themselves. Then, the gamer turns around. The gamer is Pellegrini. Mind blown.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid
In contrast to the aforementioned announcement of Hernandez, Ronaldo’s unveiling was classic Real Madrid. In front of 80,000, he walked out without an ounce of nervousness. Smiling, he went on to perform a dazzling keepie uppie routine full of tricks and flicks. The Portuguese started as he meant to go on – in iconic fashion.
Antonio Rudiger to Chelsea
Chelsea’s unveiling of Rudiger was a difficult watch. It all starts innocently enough, with a young Blues fan asking his dad for a shirt with the Germany international’s name on the back. His dad replies by saying only the names of players who currently play for the Premier League champions are possible. The shop assistant then goes to the back of the store and there, inexplicably, stands Rudiger. The former Roma man then says “I’m a Chelsea player now” before looking weirdly into the camera.