The date is May 25 2005, and Liverpool are playing AC Milan in the Champions League Final. Liverpool’s players trudge off the pitch, three goals down after a first half in which they’ve been comprehensively outclassed. Rather than rousing a collective sense of derring-do with which to inspire a comeback, the players take a more jovial approach after Rafa Benitez dispels the gloom by wafting his hand over his nose in a “eurgh, smelly!” gesture. The lads then decide to pepper each other with light-hearted ‘pelters’, vis a vis everyone ‘having a shitter’. Carra jokes about how he might as well go up front, and everyone laughs, even though he makes the same joke every day in training. Steve Finnan suggests going out in Everton kits for the second half, which is declared ‘proper bantz’ by all. There is no second-half comeback, and Liverpool are trounced 23-0, with Liverpool players taking it in turns to shoot at their own goal. Harry Kewell swaps shirts with Kaka, and amusingly pretends that this means he should be eligible for a winner’s medal, before being dismissed by a paternal ruffle of the hair from a chuckling Paolo Maldini. In a post-match interview, Sami Hyypia sums up his team’s blasé attitude towards their comically bad performance by declaring “You can’t spell Liverpool without ‘LOL’”. Everyone is appalled.
Thanks to football, the word ‘banter’ has been misappropriated by gits and ruined forever. It is now filed shamefully away in the twat drawer along with others, such as ‘legend’, ‘random’ and ‘genius’. Others have commented on this linguistic blight on modern society, but such an unfortunate malaise requires further attention, so I’m afraid it’s all hands to the pump (EH, LADS!? PENIS BANTER! WKD SIDE!).
Using a time machine built out of old copies of Nuts magazine, Burton’s t-shirts, and a barrel full of the congealed sperm of THE LADS, Ruud Gullit Sitting On A Shed will reimagine iconic footballing moments of yore, accurately reinterpreting them through the boobs-shaped prism of this modern disease.
Today, we take you back to July 11th 2010, and the World Cup final between Spain and Holland in Johannesburg.
After 116 minutes of play, Spain’s intricate passing game has failed to find a way through the stubborn reluctance of Holland’s attritional warfare. A victory for the reigning European champions would surely be universally embraced as a victory for the beautiful game. And so it is that Barcelona’s Andrés Iniesta, so often the unsung hero for club and country, breaches the Dutch defence for the first time, securing the triumph that everyone wants to see with a deft finish. As ecstatic Spanish screams envelop the ubiquitous sound of vuvuzelas, Iniesta sprints away in celebration, trying to outrun time itself to prolong this, the greatest single achievement possible in the sport, and as this begins to sink in, he removes his shirt in an orgiastic frenzy of bloke sloganeering, and an iconic moment is destroyed by the debasing pursuit of banter…