Opening arguments were heard today in a case that could literally change the face of international football.
Barcelona striker Thierry Henry, known throughout the world both for his antiracism "Stand Up, Speak Up" campaign and his amazing goal-scoring record for London’s Arsenal FC, has brought a civil suit before the World Court.
Henry and his lawyers claim that his "patented" goal scoring celebration—Henry's bored, scowling, 20-yard stare—has been stolen by his Arsenal replacement, Eduardo da Silva, thereby violating an implied trademark.
In one of the shortest opening arguments on record, Michel Reinhart, the primary lawyer for the plaintiff, said that, “Eduardo da Silva’s sullen expression will speak for itself.”
Da Silva’s defense countered with claim that Thierry Henry “does not and cannot hold copyright on a lack of expressiveness.”
The mess seems to have started after M. Henry tuned into Arsenal’s Carling Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers. A close friend of the Barcelona striker who watched the match with him reported that Henry “glared at the television the way he used to glare at Hleb for his sloppy passes.”
Da Silva, known simply as “Eduardo” to Arsenal fans, scored two goals against Blackburn, catapulting the young Gunners into the semifinals against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
His celebrations for both goals were of the decidedly minimalist variety—as have been his celebrations for every goal he has scored for the Gunners this season.
“I can only remember Thierry Henry showing such obvious dissatisfaction after scoring a goal,” ruminated David Pleat after Da Silva scored notched his second tally. “Perhaps Eduardo is feeling ill.”
Neither Henry nor Eduardo were present in court for the opening arguments of their case, but Nicolas Anelka was seen skulking about after the arguments were finished.
When asked by reporters what he made of the case, Anelka simply replied, “No comment.”
However, the man known in London as “Le Sulk” is expected to follow the case closely, with an eye towards bringing his own case against the winner.
Unfortunately, Eduardo da Silva’s grunts on the subject were unintelligible, and Thierry Henry was unavailable for comment.
Geiko is also expected to pursue court proceedings against the Brazilian-born Croatian striker for impersonating their Neanderthal—assuming they don’t sign him to a long-term endorsement contract first.