11 of the most ridiculous moments of 2018: Batshuayi, Lloris, West Ham…

Quick Reads

As with any major tournament year, 2018 has been responsible for plenty of memorable moments.

However, the footballing year should never be about brilliance and nothing else – sometimes we need to look beyond the excellence of the likes of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

Sometimes, rather than focusing on the good, we’ll need to look at the more ridiculous moments of the year – those which even those involved won’t be too desperate to recall.

The Leeds United badge debacle

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an EDL member’s DIY tattoo? Is it the logo for a brand of solvent adhesive? Is it a Gaviscon bottle?

Nope, it’s the Leeds United badge, released in January, which was compared to all of these things.

We thought it looks a bit like Matthew McConaughey’s scene-stealing performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, but each to their own. 

Milad Mohammadi’s flip throw

Iran achieved World Cup immortality, just not in the way they might have imagined. With the clock ticking down in the match against Spain, defender Milad Mohammadi had his chance.

The element of surprise was there, except he didn’t realise the only person he would be tricking was… himself.

Every moment was so meticulously planned, with one exception. Shame he missed off the most important part, really.

Michy Batshuayi hits himself in the face

It has been a bizarre year for Michy Batshuayi. The striker scored 21 goals in 2018, without ever really finding himself solidified in his starting place.

The goals have come for Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Belgium, but the stand-out moment for Batshuayi, in international colours, was about as far as you can get from a goal.

It feels like Batshuayi has committed so much to incorporating comedy into his personal brand that even his subconscious decisions can feel like they’re being made with laughs in mind.

That’s our only explanation for him smacking the ball off the post and into his own face when he could have just… done nothing at all.

The West Ham pitch invasion

We all know West Ham United didn’t own the London Stadium when they moved in at the start of the 2016-17 season, but it was considerate of one of their fans to try to claim it on the club’s behalf.

At least, we think that’s what this guy was going when he strolled onto the pitch with a corner flag and planted it in the centre-circle in March, just like that American astronaut did with the moon.

Apparently there was a football match going on at the time, but no one remembers that – job done, I guess?

South Korea player hit in balls

The 2002 World Cup had Harte, but Football in the Groin had a football in the groin.

Ascoli goalkeeper scores an own goal for the ages

Over the years we’ve seen a number of suspicious-looking own goals from goalkeepers, or just suspicious-looking behaviour in general.

However, we can’t accuse Ascoli goalkeeper Filippo Perruchini of anything like that.

After all, his own goal against Palermo is absolutely not the sort of thing anyone is capable of doing on purpose.

Go on Filippo, try this again. We bet you won’t be able to fool yourself for a second time.

Roy Hodgson beefs with Harry the Hornet

Football in 2018 has been all about some significant rivalries. Mo Salah vs Sergio Ramos, José Mourinho vs everyone, and, of course Roy Hodgson vs Harry the Hornet.

There must have been a reason for the former England manager deciding to take aim at the Watford mascot, as opposed to talking about the football side of the Crystal Palace-Watford rivalry, and we’re happy he found it necessary to do so.

“If you’re asking me whether Harry the Hornet, who I presume is the mascot, should dive in that way, I think it’s disgraceful,” Hodgson said.

That “who I presume is the mascot” is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Patrice Evra and his bird

Who would have thought Patrice Evra playing for David Moyes’ West Ham just shy of his 37th birthday wouldn’t be the weirdest thing involving the Frenchman in 2018?

Towards the end of the year, Evra shared a video which we’ll generously describe as “thanksgiving-themed” and less generously describe as “unhygienic”.

Our only regret is that he used poultry rather than a pheasant, preventing him from getting more mileage out of his trademark phrase “I love this game”.

Robin Zentner’s ghost pass

Easy does it, Robin. Just take a touch, get the ball out of your feet and lay it off to your defender. There we g- wait, where’s the ball?

Emanuele Giaccherini’s slow-motion own goal

Sunderland fans will have fond memories of Emanuele Giaccherini. No, wait, let’s try that again. Sunderland fans will have memories of Emanuele Giaccherini. Still no? Fine. Emanuele Giaccherini played for Sunderland for a bit.

He also scored a baffling own goal in 2018, while playing for Chievo against Sassuolo in Serie A.

In perhaps the worst slow-motion scene since Karateci Kiz, Giaccherini casually chests the ball back towards goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, only to quickly realise Sorrentino has temporarily forgotten how to move his arms, legs, or any part of his body.

Rather unfortunate for someone of his profession, as we’re sure you’ll agree.

Hugo Lloris’ World Cup final blunder

Right, I don’t think nearly enough is made of the fact that Hugo Lloris did this in a World Cup final.

His mindless attempt to dribble around Mario Mandžukić would be considered embarrassing if it had happened in a regular league game, and yet somehow the even bigger stage provided him with a let-off.

Within minutes of the blunder, we found ourselves talking about the slightly bigger matter of France being named World Champions, and their goalkeeper got off scot free. The perfect crime.

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