- The Upshot
- Serious felonies
Gareth Bale's godawful music taste
💬 Quote of the day
“Gary Neville thrives in the potential of a red card incident. It seems to almost make him aroused.” - Joey Barton.
🤪 One Flu over the cuckoo’s nest
Over here, the most exciting thing connoisseurs of football violence can look forward to is seeing a couple of fat blokes get their heads kicked in round the back of Halfords.
But in Brazil they crank things up a notch.
Ahead of Sunday’s Copa Libertadores final, Boca Juniors fans took over Rio’s iconic Copacabana Beach, dancing and singing in the afternoon sun.
Fluminense eventually lifted their first Copa with an extra time goal from the somehow-Brazilian John Kennedy, sending their delirious supporters into overdrive.
😈 Shakin things up
It’s been a big week for the bastard prince of international cricket, Shakib Al-Hasan, who ensured Sri Lanka’s Angelo Matthews was the first ever international batsman to be timed out for taking too long to get to the crease.
As Matthews protested, a smirking Shakib encouraged him to respect the umpires decision, insisting “it’s in the laws”.
Which is a little bit rich, considering the Bangladesh captain’s usual response to controversial umpiring calls…
Basically the cricket equivalent of tipping over the Monopoly board.
🎭 It’s between She Will Be Loved and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major
Gareth Bale never came across as the sort of fella you’d spot at the Royal Academy’s retrospective on Gaugin with a copy of the London Review of Books tucked into his back pocket.
So it wasn’t a huge surprise to hear the former Real Madrid man admit this week that his favourite music is “Maroon 5”.
Although if his 2021 interview with The Guardian is anything to go by, the clues that Gaz wasn’t exactly a culture vulture have been there for a while.
It's like someone fed self-help manuals and training regimes into an algorithm.
✈️ Plane unfair
As Iberia passengers lined up for their delayed flight to Madrid on Sunday night, morale was low.
The vending machine was out of Kit Kats, there were several screaming babies, and the gate crew kept making vaguely threatening announcements about baggage restrictions.
Finally, the news they’d been dreading came through: the flight was cancelled, and they were stuck in northern Spain.
So you can imagine their surprise when a smirking Sergio Ramos appeared minutes later, leading a procession of Sevilla teammates on to the supposedly cancelled flight.
The La Liga stars were returning from a 1-1 draw with Celta Vigo when their private jet fell through.
But instead of bunking up in a clammy single at the Best Western Vigo with €10 breakfast vouchers, Sevilla hijacked the Iberia flight, leaving 80 paying customers stranded.
🗞️ This story must be handled with all the care and compassion it deserves
From doing Michael Jackson’s bins to posting fake pictures of Whitney Houston’s corpse, American gossip rag TMZ aren’t known for their sensitive handling of delicate stories.
But when former MLB pitcher Danny Serafini was arrested for murdering his in laws, surely even their scummy hacks would find a tasteful way to describe it…
💉 Quick hits
😘 Erik Ten Hag has kicked Jadon Sancho out of the Man United first team WhatsApp group.
🙅♂️ Fans of MLS side Portland Timbers are protesting the club hiring Phil Neville because he posted sexist tweets a decade ago.
🌹 This is Ingland
That's it for today. Thanks to George.
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🎙️ You might remember Adrian Mutu as a promising Chelsea striker with a taste for cocaine. But Class As weren’t his only vice. From high speed car chases to drinking a porn star's blood, meet the Bad Boy of Bucharest on The Upshot podcast.