Falklands War Part XXX: Argie Star Messi Shags England’s Sweetheart Cheryl Cole

Did the best football player in the world—Argentina national and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi—spit game to England international Ashley Cole’s estranged wife, pop starlet Cheryl Cole? Hells yes, say the reputable British tabloids. In fact, the painfully shy 23-year-old Argie allegedly talked some serious shit about the people of England as a whole in the process, challenging the entire country’s very manhood as he very publicly put the moves on England’s Sweetheart. According to the Sun, Messi slicked back his greasy hair, unbuttoned his shirt down to his navel, and in his best Ricardo Montalban whispered, “I don’t know if Cheryl is going to decide to support England. She might be a bit anti-England players at the moment. If she is looking for a new nation to follow at the World Cup, she should look no further than Argentina. We play the prettiest football today, have the prettiest players, and Argentinian men also know how to treat their women. She would of course have to work the Tango. I don’t think there would be a shortage of Argentine players willing to help teach her.”

News of Messi’s lustful overtures spread quickly, hitting major football blogs, European media, with the story fully blowing up in India and other parts of Asia last week. The fact that the whole thing was a complete and transparent fabrication didn’t seem to stop some quasi legit reporters from repeating it verbatim, with outraged commentary, and even putting their name on the article. Of course, Argentina and England have a bit of a history, with highlights like the Falklands War, Maradona’s Hand of God, and Beckham’s shameful red card exit vs. Argentina at the ’98 World Cup, painting a picture of two countries who don’t get along too nicely when they’re running after a round ball (or fighting over some cold oily rocks in the South Atlantic). So it makes sense that the UK tabs would want to stir up some shit. But Messi is such an odd choice. Anyone familiar with Messi knows he’s the most polite, well spoken kid, a rare creature in modern sports. He barely says three words to reporters, never steps out of line, and is generally considered to be one of the nicest dudes in the game. Possibly the last football player on the planet to start any sort of trouble, and least of all with another player’s bird!

The extra funny part about this is not so much the fact that UK tabloids shamelessly make shit up to cause trouble, since that’s pretty much what they get paid to do. What’s much more amusing is the cartoonish image of the battered English pysche that emerges from their caricature of the smooth talking, prettyboy Argentine hustler moving in on their womenfolk. I’m from Argentina, and Argentine dudes are wont to talk smack to girls on a major level—it’s the national sport along with football. Seriously, it’s called piropo, look it up, it’s ranked just after polo and before tennis, according to Salon. And I definitely hear all sorts of ridiculous pick up lines in broken Argentine English directed at foreign turistas when I go out out in Buenos Aires. But give us a little credit! This is some straight Bugs Bunny material: “You will of course have to work the tango?” Tango doesn’t get worked. It gets danced, and not by professional athletes (they dance cumbia for the most part). Nevertheless I commend the Sun writers for doing their rabble-rousing best to further stir passions up as the World Cup approaches—it’s one of the more entertaining aspects of the tournament. So whoever the pasty-faced, fish-and-chips eating hooligan that came up with this Messi-Cole bit is, deserves to work a nice room temperature beer at the local pub (while my peoples bugger his bird).

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