Top 10 Ball-Boy Intervention Moments
Sunday's Madrid derby was, to say the least, a heated affair. Atletico assistant German Burgos was sent to the stands for confronting the referee, Pepe showed some Oscar-worthy theatrics, and it was a miracle that none of the players was sent off.
Adding to the tense atmosphere were the ball boys, who apparently completely ran out of balls when Real Madrid were in possession and down 2-1 to the hosts.
After one ball boy complained of having nothing to give, another threw a ball past Ronaldo and another threw an extra ball onto the field, presumably to eat up some time.
Essentially, Ronaldo and Real were completely mugged off.
This incident inspires this list of the best ball-boy boisterousness...
10. Eden Hazard and the Swansea Ball Boy
Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan took it upon himself to be the Swans' 12th man when Chelsea visited for a League Cup semi-final in January 2013.
In a bid to waste time, the 17-year-old smothered the ball with his body. When Eden Hazard tried to speed up proceedings by kicking it from under him, the ball boy feigned injury, and the Belgian received his marching orders.
Morgan—who is the son of a Swansea director—became an overnight Twitter sensation, especially once it became clear he had boasted about his time-wasting skills before the match.
9. Lee Croft's Ugly Spat at Sheffield United
In October 2012, Oldham's Lee Croft was accused of racially abusing a ball boy during a game at Sheffield United.
The winger admitted that he "spoke inappropriately" to the youngster after he kicked the ball away, but all accusations of racism were eventually denied by both parties.
8. Jimmy Hill's Ball-Girl Anger
Skip to 7:50 in the video for the incident
Blackburn were beating visitors Liverpool 1-0 in a 1991 FA Cup third-round tie when the Reds mounted an attack in the 90th minute. The ball went out of play, at which point 16-year-old ball girl Gillian Maynard quickly gave it back to Steve Nicol.
Rovers conceded a goal almost immediately afterward, and Jimmy Hill berated the youngster in his post-match analysis, claiming she gave the ball back so quickly that the defence wasn't able to organise.
Blaming a young girl for the shortcomings of an entire team seems a little inappropriate for the broadcaster, particularly as she was doing her job efficiently.
7. The Girl Who Gave an Assist and Posed for Playboy
Another ball girl who helped a quick goal was Fernanda Maia, who helped Botafogo score in the Campeonato Carioca final against Vasco da Gama in 2012.
A lightning-quick throw to Sebastian Abreu helped Maicosuel score Botafogo's third goal of the afternoon, with the Brazilian press giving the assist to Maia for her efficiency.
The attractive 22-year-old used her newfound fame to launch a career in modeling, including a gig posing for Playboy.
6. The Scoring Brazilian Ball Boy
A match between Santacruzense and Atletico Sorocaba in 2006 was mired in controversy when the referee gave a goal to the home side that was quite clearly scored by the ball boy.
Note how the Brazilian commentator still screams "Goooaaaallll!" even when it was quite apparent that it shouldn't have counted.
5. The Little Tough Guy
Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto was made to feel a little unwelcome when his side visited Lierse in September 2010.
Not only did the ball boy behind the goal refuse to get the ball, but the little Belgian kid followed him and appeared to try and start a fight!
4. The Ball Boy Who Earned an Assist
During a league match in Israel in 2009, a goalkeeper ran to the touch line to clear away the ball with a header.
With a lightning reaction, a waiting ball boy threw the ball back to the attacking team, allowing them to beat the keeper back to his own net.
3. The Boy Who Didn't Want Sulley Muntari's Shirt
This isn't strictly a moment of intervention from a ball boy, but it is very funny, so it makes the list.
A Chievo ball boy was offered Sulley Muntari's shirt by the player when Milan defeated the Flying Donkeys in 2012.
Such was his loyalty to Chievo, however, that the youngster refused to take the shirt and tried to give it back.
2. The Ball Boy Who Had His Goalkeeper Covered
This clip may only come from a lower-league regional Brazilian match, but it is a pretty strong intervention.
When one team counterattacked after the opposition goalkeeper had committed himself at the other end of the field, a goal looked almost certain. Yet the defending team got some extra help from a ball boy who made a dramatic save on the line before scarpering away, hoping that no one noticed his contribution.
1. Tottenham's Cypriot Surprise
Cypriot side Famagusta were thrashed 6-1 at White Hart Lane in 2007, but the real star of the show was the ball boy who chucked a ball straight at Kostas Louboutis' wedding vegetables.
The Tottenham faithful proceeded to give the youngster a rousing chant for his ball-busting efforts.