Jan 18, 2013

Top Soccer Hoaxes Revisited

Fictional Moldovan Teen Soccer Phenom

Listed at No. 30 on the then "Football's 50 Top Rising Stars" list by the British newspaper the Times, a fictitious 16-year-old teen soccer phenom from Moldova, Masal Bugduv, turned out to be a hoax born and perpetuated through online forums and even popular soccer news sites like Goal.com.

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Ali Dia - the greatest SCAM the Premier League has ever known 

In 1996 Graeme Souness immortalised himself in football folklore by falling for an amazing scam that resulted in him signing a player, so bad, that it made Harry Redknapps decision to buy Marco Boogers look inspirational. It all started when Ali Dia, a desperate 30 year-old wannabe, convinced his agent to phone the Southampton boss pretending to be World Footballer of the Year George Weah recommending his cousin (Ali Dia) as the next big thing.

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Fake YouTube Video Leads to $30 Million Dollar Transaction?

A 2010 story goes like this, Liverpool Football Club owners got duped by a fake YouTube video (see below) of Stewart Downing amazingly kicking five soccer balls into trash cans from a significant distance. The owners of the club ended up signing Downing to a $30 million dollar contract.

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Canadian Under-21 Team 'Victorious' in international tournament

A 1982 hoax consisted of a fake victory by a fake team in a non-existent tournament. The team, a Canadian under-21 club was reported to have won an international under-21 soccer tournament in Australia by defeating a Russian club, 1-0. A "here" was even named, you guessed it, the fake team captain of the 'winning' team.

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Best Viral Soccer Video (Not a hoax but similar enough)

A JogaTV spot seems to show then soccer superstar Ronoldinho (Brazil) demonstrating amazing accuracy by kicking a ball off the crossbar of the goal and receiving it back without the ball ever touching the ground. Although the Brazilian did have world class ball handling skills, this ended up being to good to be true to the many fans who fell for the viral video.