Ezequiel Lavezzi and 10 of the Best Footballer Pranks
With high-pressure jobs that fall under the scrutiny of millions of people all over the world, sometimes professional footballers need to blow off a little steam with a prank. And if their name is Franck Ribery, they need to constantly blow off lots of steam with lots of pranks.
Here are 10 of the best footballer wind-ups, starting with the schoolboy routine Ezequiel Lavezzi pulled on a cameraman last weekend.
The Time When Ezequiel Lavezzi Used a Schoolboy Move on a Cameraman
Moments after Paris Saint-Germain won an intense "Classique" against Marseille last weekend, Argentinean forward Ezequiel Lavezzi celebrated the best way he knew how—by tripping up a cameraman.
It was actually a cruel trick—particularly as it is unlikely that he was friends with the shooter—and it could have caused thousand of Euros worth of damage. But hey, he is a millionaire and can do what he wants.
The Time When Franck Ribery Pulled the Same Schoolboy Stunt on a Bayern Trainer
If there's one thing Bayern Munich's prank king Franck Ribery loves more than football, it's messing around.
When the Germans commenced their summer training in the Italian province of Trentino in July, the Frenchman and Diego Contento pulled some serious mischief on trainer Gianni Bianchi.
The Time When Ribery Terrified Shoppers
A list about footballer pranks would be remiss without at least two clips from the Clown Prince of Bavaria.
A few players were probably trying to put themselves in the proverbial shop window in last year's Champions League, but shortly after the final, Ribery literally put himself in one with the purpose of terrifying the general public.
The Time When Stoke Players Put a Pig's Head in Kenwyne Jones' Locker
Pig's heads are meant to be attached to pig's bodies or thrown at Luis Figo. They are not meant to be stuffed inside lockers for prank purposes.
When Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones found one in his training ground locker last season, he was not impressed. He was so unimpressed, in fact, that he smashed Glenn Whelan's car windscreen by way of revenge.
Jones eventually apologised for his car-based retribution and squared things with the person who planted the pig's head, but the whole scene was uglier than it needed to be.
The Time When Rio Ferdinand 'Merk'd' David Beckham
In 2006, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hosted a Punk'd-style show called Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups.
England players who were "Merk'd" by Rio included Wayne Rooney, Peter Crouch, Ashley Cole and David Beckham. The latter ended up putting himself in danger by fleeing a moving car when he thought he was being abducted. Hilarious stuff.
The Countless Times When Paul Gascoigne Fooled Around
Paul Gascoigne loves nothing more than getting a laugh from people, and some of the tales of his high jinx are legendary.
Most of his capers revolved around his assistant/chief prank monkey Jimmy "Five Bellies" Gardner. Highlights include the time Gazza booked Five Bellies on a flight to see him at Lazio but sent him via Tokyo, the time he made him eat a mince pie filled with cat poo and the time he spent £1,000 on a robot that he programmed to say, "Make me a cup of tea, fat man."
The Time When Zlatan Ibrahimovic Intercepted PSG's Security Guards
The mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes his own brilliance seriously, but he is capable of (figuratively) letting his hair down for some fun on occasion.
Here he is pictured giving what Getty Images describe as "funny instructions" to security guards at Paris Saint-Germain's 2012 winter training camp when he commandeered one of their radios. It sounds riotous.
"Ibra" was also the subject of an amusing prank earlier this year, when an Italian comedian asked him to sign a fairly inappropriate photo.
The Time When Mario Balotelli Darted at Manchester City Youth-Team Players
During his time at Manchester City, Mario Balotelli's off-the-field exploits were shrouded in Keyser Söze-levels of myth and legend.
The crazy Italian is definitely accountable for the time in March 2011 when he was caught throwing darts at youth-team players from a first-story window. His reason? He was "bored."
The Time When Celtic Players Covered Mohamed Bangura's Car in Post-It Notes
When Celtic players are bored, they don't reach for the darts like Balotelli but instead plan elaborate and time-consuming pranks involving cars and stationery.
In August 2012, the Bhoys covered striker Mohamed Bangura's car in Post-It notes. This made it difficult for him to drive and difficult for anyone else to make a shopping list.
The Time When Icelandic Club Þór Akureyri Played a Brilliant Sit-Up Trick
We've saved the best for last.
You may not have heard of Icelandic club Þór Akureyri, but they will probably stay on your memory once you have watched this trick. When a shirt is placed over a player's face, it renders him unable to do a sit-up. Watch what happens next...