6 Footballers We'd Most Like to See as 'Guys' on a Bonfire
It's Bonfire Night, which means it's time to stand out in the cold waving a sparkler next to a bonfire, occasionally staring into the sky with a gasped "ooooohhhhh!" as a slightly underwhelming firework explodes.
In recent years, it has become traditional in many areas to replace the effigy of Guy Fawkes with a modern villain—Wayne Rooney, for example, is one of many footballers who have been burned on November 5.
Here's six footballers who would make excellent Guy Fawkes substitutes on the bonfire...
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Admit it: When you saw the title of this article, one name sprung to mind straight away.
Joey Barton's crimes may not be tantamount to conspiring to blow up Parliament, but the troubled QPR midfielder has been to prison for beating a teenager senseless and earned a suspended sentence for stubbing out a cigar in a teammate's eye.
The thug-turned-enlightened-hipster's effigy would certainly provide plenty of fuel for the fire, as you could include Smiths vinyl, flannel shirts, art criticism books and philosophy degree lecture notes. Unfortunately, we'd all have to put up with the guy tweeting forthright hypercritical opinions as he burned on the pile.
Aside from his slightly cynical high-stakes transfer to Zenit Saint Petersburg, there is very little to dislike about Hulk. In fact, the Brazilian winger is pretty darn likable.
The 27-year-old would make a great Guy simply for the reason that he has the perfect body type. He's a stocky guy, who fills out his shirts like he has been stuffed full of hay and straw.
Hulk also has the biggest backside in world football, coming in at a ridiculous circumference of 43.7 inches. The Guy would burn for days as the flames worked their way through the stuffing in that derriere.
This Guy nomination may be a former professional footballer, but his move into UEFA bureaucracy surely warrants his place atop the burning embers on fireworks night.
In England, Platini is about as popular as a power cut during a World Cup final. He often makes snide comments about the English game, he dislikes the Premier League's foreign owner and player model, and he is championing a winter World Cup in Qatar that threatens to damage the legacy of the competition and disrupt domestic seasons.
With typical Gallic pomp, the UEFA president insists his lack of popularity in Britain is down to a hatred of the French, rather than any of the actual empirical measures he has taken and comments he has made about the English game.
The only way a "Platini Guy" would get a bigger cheer is if a "Blatter Guy" was thrown on top of it.
Guy Fawkes adopted a Spanish identity when he began plotting his Catholic rebellion, so it seems appropriate for a footballer who has recently adopted a Spanish identity to be made into a Guy.
Brazilian striker Diego Costa snubbed the chance to represent his country at the World Cup on home soil next summer, choosing instead to be considered for selection by Spain. Much like the English-scalded Guy Fawkes for turning his back on the establishment, Big Phil Scolari recently slated Costa's decision to "turn his back" on his homeland.
The best thing about a "Diego Costa Guy" is that you wouldn't need any matches or firelighters: He is such an angry man that his effigy is likely to combust into furious flames at any given moment.
Mario Balotelli has been burned dozens of times by the British media—including the time he was quite literally burned as an effigy—so why not set him alight one more time in the vein of celebration?
The AC Milan striker is something of a bonfire-night connoisseur, having set fire to his own house when he shot fireworks out of his bathroom window two years ago.
He was subsequently forced to participate in a fireworks-safety campaign, so the kids will be reminded to proceed with caution as they throw his effigy onto the fire.
Guy Fawkes night is loud, scary, flashy and pretty underrated on an international scale. It is essentially the annual commemoration equivalent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Just imagine how much fun could be had colouring in his tattoos, ensuring the legs are flexible enough to score impossible goals and filling it with a mixture of straw and hatred for Pep Guardiola...