The great game has always left players and spectators alike brimming with strong emotions, from tension to fury to outright hilarity.
The merry nature was a good part of the year 2017, as follies and antics from both players and managers gave much reason for laughter. Twitter often replied strongly to most of these hilarious incidents, and yet again, football managed to bring people together.
Here are 20 of the funniest incidents that occurred over the course of last year-
1. Bird Poo On Newcastle United Goalkeeper’s Shirt
It’s best to start things off lucky, and luck is precisely what an unfortunate incident was converted into by Newcastle United’s goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
During a match against West Ham United, which the Magpies comfortably won 3-0, a sign from the skies graced the goalkeeper’s jersey.
2. Mainz Goalkeeper Mistakes Penalty Spot For Ball
Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner going to pass the ball… but got it confused with the penalty spot. ?? pic.twitter.com/oHCOCqvcFU"
— Ian Duncan Ayewgan (@IAN_NAGWEYA) November 7, 2017
Not all goalkeepers had a good time this year, and the pitiful moments of one led to much laughter in retrospect.
During his side’s encounter against Borussia Monchengladbach, goalkeeper Robin Zentner nearly made a fatal error when he lost sight of the ball and kicked away blankly at the penalty spot.
Luckily for him, it didn’t end up in the back of the net, but his vision certainly came into question after that.
3. Dortmund Keeper Wrestles Ball From Referees Feet
— BVB Buzz (@BVBBuzz) November 14, 2017
This incident happened much before the match went underway during the coin toss itself.
Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Bürki’s pre-match ritual of robbing the match ball during the tossing act won the hearts of the internet, particularly after one spirited incident when the shot-stopper practically wound himself between the legs of the referee to claim his prize.
Be aware mascots and officials, a wild Bürki might be lurking near you.
4. Renato Sanches’ Advertisement Board Pass
Another player who might have been sent for an eye-test after the following occurred. During Swansea City’s match against Chelsea, the youngster did a ridiculous mistake with much confidence.
When the turn came to pass the ball, the Portuguese player chose a red advertisement logo over his teammates. While the color matched that of the side’s traveling jersey, the moment had spectators rolling with laughter while manager Paul Clement was visibly disappointed.
5. Ribery Calmed Down By Ancelotti With A Kiss
As far as disappointments go, Franck Ribery certainly appeared so last season during a match where he was subbed off with a mere five minutes left on the clock.
And to cool down the angry Frenchman, the manager gifted him with a kiss on the cheek. Who can remain furious after a kiss, huh? The pleasant physical sign was not missed by Ribery, who was all smiles after.
6. Corner Ball-Boy’s Antics During Arsenal vs Everton
Does anyone know who the Everton Ball boy is? pic.twitter.com/IbVVPc3a9N
— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 25, 2017
Speaking of signs, few can compare the viral attraction that an Everton ball boy’s hand sign got during Arsenal’s clash at Goodison Park.
The perfectly timed move was a cheeky little circle with his fingers. An allusion to the popular game, according to which the person who gets caught seeing it will have his arm hurt by the kid, he certainly is due a lot of those owing to how popular the clip went.
Another incident where Arsenal were involved was severely amusing, but its consequences were far too serious for an act so simple. When the Gunners clashed against Sutton United, former Sutton goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was seen eating a pie.
The sight of the plump coach having his way with the pie certainly gave joy to many, but the FA was not pleased, as he was eventually handed a two-month ban for having violated betting rules. Much ado over nothing?
8. Rojo’s Europa League Banana
— Governor (@A__rabiu) March 17, 2017
Eating certainly seems to tickle the funny bone of many, as evident in the massive reaction that the journey of banana in a United fixture garnered.
During their Europa League clash against Rostov, Marcos Rojo eating a banana caused quite a bit of stir. What was equally amusing was the linkup between Mourinho and Young in ensuring that the fruit found its way to the Argentine.
9. Mourinho’s Milk And Water Tryst
Mourinho too, had to face an encounter dealing with items meant to be consumed, and in his case, it was milk and water.
After Manchester City’s emphatic victory against United, the Sky Blues were celebrating loudly. When asked by Mourinho to lower their volume, a quick fight ensured between members of both sides, and the result was an alleged Jose slightly drenched in milk and water.
10. Antonio Conte’s Cake
Food certainly features strongly on this list, and the next manager to be entranced by an eatable is Antonio Conte.
During a press conference back in January, the Chelsea manager made news by happily having a cake offered to him by a journalist. He later revealed that he was utterly hungry, and hadn’t had anything to eat prior, and hence, gobbled up the dessert.
Either that, or he really likes cake.
11. Michy Batshuayi Warming At The Bench
The next Blue to make it didn’t have to perform an antic on the pitch either. Sitting on the bench in chilly weather, the 24-year-old striker was seen holding a hot water bottle close to his face.
While many tweets dealt with the sight in mirth, some dropped insults that would make the youngster actually want some cold.
12. Donati Cools His Crotch
Why exactly did Giulio Donati squirt water down his shorts? pic.twitter.com/BW6ONNoFM5
— Juan Direction (@JuanDirection58) April 3, 2017
Another one to make a bid to battle the weather, Giulio Donati region of choice was not the best to be caught on camera.
Prior to coming on, and whilst receiving instructions, the defender was seen squirting cold water onto his private parts. The commentator summed the situation well by stating: “It’s warming up, not cooling down!”
13. Ashley Young’s Brutal Reply To Dele Alli
One player who certainly was in need of some cool water was Dele Alli, who made the mistake of clashing against Ashley Young during Tottenham’s match against United
The young starlet even insulted the Red Devil by asking him to retire with a zimmer frame, to which the veteran player replied: “When you’ve won the Premier League, let me know.”
14. Guardiola Shouts At Redmond For Being Too Good
One person shouting at another is a common sight on the football pitch. But when a manager does it after the full-time whistle to the player of the opposite side, that too for being too good, the entire thing does have a comic essence to it.
This was precisely what happened when Pep Guardiola had a visible one-on-one with Nathan Redmond, which he later regretted, as the FA asked for an explanation.
15. Pogba and Ibrahimovic’s EFL Banter
After securing the EFL Cup, the two successful signings by United were all smiles in the post-match interview. However, it did seem that Pogba had some confusion about the transfer business.
When the Frenchman asserted that Ibrahimovic’s antics was precisely why the club had bought him, the Swede replied: “Bought me?! I came here for free. They bought you, I came here for free!”
Their shared laugh was enjoyed by the supporters as well.
16. Mat Hummels’ Coffee Spill
Thomas Muller laughing at Mats Hummels spilling his coffee on the way to the Emirates pic.twitter.com/I9o8NKXehc
— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) March 7, 2017
Bayern Munich is a side ever filled with banter, and that was evident after Mats Hummels had an unfortunate incident.
Ahead of the side’s Champions League clash against Arsenal, the defender spilled coffee on his clean suit. The moment was not missed by teammate Thomas Muller, who was all laughter.
17. Thomas Muller Uses Passport As A Phone
The German international is always in high spirits, and clearly has a wonderful sense of humor.
Upon returning from Doha early in the year, he was in no mood to answer interviews from reporters, and developed an ingenious way to avoid them. By pretending his passport was a phone and answering it, the forward certainly was the cause for several smiles.
18. Swedish Team Crashes Broadcast
Not all treat reporters in a great way, especially not when one is in a grand mood.
Such seemed to be the case for Sweden, who had qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia by ousting Italy, and proceeded to celebrate wildly by interrupting a Eurosport broadcast. The video of the antic went viral.
19. Cristiano Ronaldo Ignores Reporter During ‘The Best’ Awards
On the last note with regard to reporters left embarrassed, one can’t forget a memorable Ronaldo moment.
Having arrived for the award ceremony, the presenters were eager to grab a quick word with the superstar, but the female anchor was left dejected as Ronaldo walked on in without acknowledging her request.
Her male counterpart was joking hysterically in reply, even prompting her to go after him.
20. Ronaldo’s El Clasico Nutmeg
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) December 23, 2017
To end, let us choose a sight that is very unlikely to occur again, and as of such, is a funny gem to behold.
His memorable moment during the match was an early attempted shot at goal, which resulted in him missing the ball entirely as it went on between his feet. Ouch.
With the year coming to a close, these moments certainly highlight the lighter side of the lively game.
Looking at the kind of good-humored individuals dotting the rosters of several sides as well as the embarrassment-prone nature of the sport, one can be certain that several more such gags will be enjoyed in 2018.
Let us know in the comments if any funny incident, in particular, was missed in the list.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.