He scored one of the goals of last year’s FIFA World Cup, a leaping horizontal header that earned him the nickname The Flying Dutchman and many a social media meme.
This week, the Netherlands found themselves inexplicably struggling to qualify for next year’s European Championships.
Two goals down against the Czech Republic and needing every goal they could lay their hands on (except you’re not allowed to do that), they turned to their star Robin van Persie.
And Robin did this.
To confirm, that has gone into the wrong goal. And the team that finished third in the World Cup won’t be at Euro 2016.
Also scoring an own goal this week — again — was soccer’s ‘governing’ body FIFA. You see, four years ago, FIFA agreed to give Interpol 20 million euros to fight corruption. Yes, I know, I laughed too.
Anyway, Interpol’s stopped using the money because it doesn’t feel FIFA shares its views on basic things like not breaking the law.
“All external partners… must share the fundamental values and principles of the organisation, as well as those of the wider law enforcement community,” it said.
FIFA says it’s ‘disappointed’ by the decision. But stopped short of saying ‘surprised’.Embed from Getty Images
For six years, Aussie cricketer Bryce McGain has held an unenviable record, racking up the worst bowling figures on debut in his one-Test career.
This week, he was mercifully relieved of that record by a Pom, when Adil Rashid conceded 163 runs in the first innings against Pakistan without taking a single wicket.
Which begs the question: where was he when the Ashes were on? Had he bowled at Trentbridge, I wouldn’t have to wear this shirt.
McGain was philosophical about handing on the record. “Someone has to have it,” he said.
Meanwhile, former England great Andrew Flintoff has revealed a unique dismissal from his own career.
Freddie was having off-field performance issues and downed three Viagra one night in the middle of a Test match.
“I didn’t realise how long they lasted,” revealed the chronic over-sharer. “Trying to bat the next day in that state was not easy. I was run out, simply because I couldn’t move.”
As for the drug itself: “Complete waste of time.” And I’m going to resist all jokes about middle stump. Every single one. Simply not going there.Embed from Getty Images
As the English continue to rake over the coals of their Rugby World Cup demise, they could take a leaf out of London mayor Boris Johnson’s book.
On a three-day trade mission in Japan, Boris took part in a game of street rugby with some schoolkids.
A bit of soft diplomacy never hurt anyone, right?
While Boris was flattening 10-year-old kids, the Wallabies were busy trying to recruit new fans during a visit to Buckingham Palace.
With England out of the tourney, Wallabies captain Stephen Moore put the hard word on Her Maj to get behind the green and gold.
“She sort of had a laugh,” said Moore, while Prince Philip ‘mostly just asked what happened to my head.’ Um, rugby happened, Phil. Der.
Coach Michael Cheika almost forgot the Buck House engagement altogether. “It’d be an honour, I suppose,” he said of the prospect of meeting the Queen. Clearly has other things on his mind.
Finally, what do you give the bloke who has everything? If he’s Lionel Messi, you gift him a pair of Grumpy pyjamas apparently.
Have a good weekend, everyone. Don’t be grumpy.