Monday, 10 May 2010

He shoots, he scores

With the UK football season pretty much over, the players will be wondering what to do with their summer. Obviously there's the small matter of the World Cup for many of them to contend with. Others will be looking at transfer options or heading down to Carphone Warehouse in search of an all-inclusive SMS package.

Over in Barcelona, however, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gerard Pique may be more interested in convincing the world of their potent heterosexuality. Having been papped in a 'clinch' that seemed a little too 'up close and personal' the rumour-mill has gone into overdrive suggesting that the players might be striking in each other's box.

There have been a number of high profile 'coming out' stories in the last year from the world of sport. Hurling goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack struck a blow for gay visibility in Ireland, followed soon after by Gareth Thomas, who was pleasantly surprised by the encouragement and support he received from his rugby teammates.

At the time, people wondered whether we might see a professional footballer off the bench and out of the closet, but that looks pretty doubtful for now.

As speculation mounts about the connection between Ibrahimovic and Pique, reporters have begun questioning the Swedish star about his new striking partnership. And he's not too happy about it.

One TV reporter managed to corner Zlatan and asked outright whether he was gay. His response was "Come to my house with your sister and see if I'm a queer."

OK, a couple of issues here. Firstly, it's a little weird that a reportedly happily married man's first response to this kind of question would be to invite a female reporter to take part in an incestuous threesome.

Couldn't he just have mentioned his wife? Or are double-enders now as integral to the world of football as oranges at half time?

Then again, maybe his blunt response proves nothing at all. It's only our dirty minds that assume that Zlatan was proposing anything untoward. Perhaps he was suggesting a good old-fashioned girly sleepover. You know the sort of thing - cosmopolitans, Ben & Jerry's and a sneak preview of Sex and the City 2.

In which case, he really needs to work on his denial strategy.

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