Footballers We Would Like to 'Truman Show'
Peter Weir's 1998 classic The Truman Show focuses on the life of a man who is unaware that he is living in a constructed reality and that the entire world has been watching his every move since he was born.
Upon considering the critically acclaimed film, a friend recently posed the following question: If you could "Truman Show" any footballer in the world, who would it be?
Here are some suggestions for the players who would make excellent subjects for a voyeuristic eye. Please leave your nominations in the comments.
Admit it: As soon as this hypothetical question was posed, you immediately thought of Mario Balotelli.
Are even half of the stories in the newspapers about the Italian striker true? Is he able to dress himself with garments on his upper body in the privacy of his own home? At what point did he infuriate Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini into getting rid of him? What did the man at the garage say when he asked him to camouflage wrap his Bentley?
Even if he has shaved his head, removed his jewellery and promised to be a good boy, Super Mario was born to be a reality TV star.
In recent years, Joey Barton has reimagined his public persona via social media. No longer is he the mindless jail-bound thug of old. He's now a philosopher-quoting Morrissey-loving, degree-studying, fully-paid-up hipster.
But is this all a charade for Twitter? Does he really like to go to art galleries in his spare time, or is he just picking fights with strangers in McDonald's car parks with a can of Special Brew in his hand at 3 a.m.?
We need to Truman Show Mr B. to find out if he is Catfishing us.
The amount of times Wayne Rooney has attempted to escape Old Trafford is a perfect football analogy for Truman's desire to break out of his bubble. Except for the fact that Rooney is probably doing it for money, rather than freedom.
Wouldn't you like to know what kind of conversation Wayne has with Coleen at the dinner table? (Spoiler alert: It's a mixture of grunting, loud chewing and looking at his iPhone.)
No one in world football is more unashamed about their extra-curricular activities than Brazil's King of Nightclubs, Ronaldinho.
At Barcelona, Ronny was known to stay out into the early hours in some of Catalonia's best night spots, and he often claimed to "practise sex before games" because it made him happy on the field. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
It would be fascinating to see the kind of antics the tricky Brazilian gets up to before turning in world-class performances on the pitch. Unlike The Truman Show, however, this probably wouldn't be PG-rated.
By following Bastian Schweinsteiger around via a network of unseen cameras, you would get to see inside Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich locker room and all of Germany's preparations for the forthcoming World Cup.
Away from the pitch, you would also benefit from a closer inspection of Schweini's better half, Sarah Brandner.
But most intriguing of all, you would find out if German Chancellor Angela Merkel is as infatuated with him as I suspect. She has seen him naked already—perhaps she stands outside his bedroom window at night holding a stereo above his head like John Cusack in Say Anything.
We know that Andrea Pirlo is a world class talent on the pitch, but outside of the fact that he's partial to wine, we know next to nothing about his private life.
What does Pirlo do when he goes home at night? Does he sit in front of a vanity mirror and spend hours trimming each strand of his magnificent beard with a pair of nail scissors? Does he go to his study and plan out elaborate pranks to play on Gennaro Gattuso? It's time we found out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is undoubtedly the most self-conceited sportsman in the world right now—he even thinks people will send more mail in Sweden once his face appears on stamps. In fact, Zlatan almost certainly believes that the universe revolves around him, so he is living a Truman Show-esque role in his own mind anyway.
Behind close doors, however, is he still that arrogant? Or does he spend all of his free time huddled in the corner of his living room with the lights off, weeping and unable to move because he is paralysed through crippling self-doubt?
It's unlikely, but it would be nice to find out.