Everyone is naked

Rooney's home truths

Good morning. Thanks to everyone who answered the poll last week. Just under half of you voted, and these were the results:

Based on your replies and our thoughts, we’ve decided to get rid of the Sunday Old Gold email.

The good news is we’re launching a second weekly podcast which focuses on stories from the week. There are only two of us, so to make this really good we need to free up some time.

Some of you suggested we drop to two weekly emails - how would you feel if we did this and you just got the Upshot twice a week?

How would you feel about just receiving The Upshot on Monday and Friday?

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Thanks a lot for your input as we work out the next steps.

Jack and Zach

💬 Quote of the day

“Probably just treat myself to a kebab. Get myself some bottles of coke, bottles of Fanta. Probably treat myself to some more vapes” - 16-year-old darts prodigy Luke Littler on how he’ll spend his £200,000 of prize money.


📱 Well done, he’s 14

Wayne Rooney has been a surprisingly soft touch as a manager, lamenting his “tiny knob” in a team talk and earnestly thanking his employers every time he gets his P45.

So when Birmingham sent him packing this week, it fell on Rooney’s teenage son Kai to play bad cop.

In a leaked Instagram exchange, the 14-year-old branded the Birmingham squad “dogshite”, keeper John Ruddy “overweight”, and centre back Dion Sanderson “absolutely awful”, insisting he needs to “get that fucking long hair gone”.

But he saved the nastiest surprise for Fulham’s Raul Jimenez, revealing the Championship basement dwellers were set to sign him.


🍆 Put your Rod away

When they splashed out on faded wonderkid James Rodriguez, Qatari side Al Rayyan were hoping the former Real Madrid man would sprinkle a bit of stardust on their young side.

But it turns out James was more interested in waving his willy around the dressing room than teaching his teammates about false 9s.

Reflecting on his “nightmare” spell in Qatar this week, the Colombian complained his new colleagues banned him from going naked in the showers:

"You know that everyone is naked in football when showering, but the teammates told me: 'you can't do it like that'. I was scared."

Perhaps the infamous (and totally untrue) WhatsApp message had gone round the dressing room…

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🤔 Moving the goalposts

In his 1,251 games as a professional goalkeeper, Gigi Buffon kept conspicuously quiet about the rules of the game.

But just months after retiring with a record 501 clean sheets, the Italian has had a brainwave: make the goals bigger.

In an interview with Tuttosport, the once miserly keeper explained his freewheeling new vision to turn football into a goalfest:

“Thirty years ago, for every fifty shots, there were 10 goals. Today, 3 out of 50 is very low. Scoring from a distance against a two-meter-tall goalkeeper is much more challenging."


🤝 Sim-ulation

Another sign that Diego Simeone’s culture of utter bastardry has infiltrated every part of Atletico Madrid.

Before the derby against hated rivals Real, Atletico’s under 12 captain greeted his opponents like they’d just pilfered the last padron pepper from the tapas board.


🚽 Talking crap

There was a time when Andy Gray howling “take a booo son” was considered the height of dramatic commentary.

But in the age of Peter Drury, commentators are expected to deliver a Shakespearean soliloquy every time an indirect free-kick is awarded.

So when their side became the first ever to lose six wickets without scoring, Indian viewers held their breath for the iconic words of their former coach Ravi Shastri.

In the end he went for: "If someone went around the corner for a dump and has just come back, India has been bowled out for 153.”


🎙️ Plastic penises and benders at the Vatican

He smuggled drugs in footballs, slept with 8,000 women and snorted coke in the Pope’s private bathroom.

Diego Maradona's stint in Naples was absolutely wild.

Get the full story on The Upshot podcast...

💉 Quick hits

🎮 Luke Littler met his girlfriend online when they played each other at Fifa on Xbox Live.

🏝️ As the fallout from Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book continues, Callum Hudson-Odoi has released a statement denying he ever visited Epstein’s private island.

💰 After joining for £60,000 in 2009, Seamus Coleman has cost Everton just £146 per game.

📆 Exiled winger Jadon Sancho is Mr January in Man United’s 2024 calendar.

📱 The phone number of Russ Bray, the referee from Wednesday’s darts final, ends in 180180.

🍻 Don’t forget you can get £10 off the UK's #1 rated alcohol-free beer at Lucky Saint.


😡 I withdraw my consent to be governed by any corrupt, compromised, belligerent, criminal parliament or government. I will not comply

Six months on from withdrawing his consent to be governed, Matt Le Tissier wasn’t happy to bump into the Prime Minister at St Mary’s.

That's it for today. Thanks to Ben, Reuben and Toby.


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