'Zinedine Zidane and Friends'. Wow that sounds cool. ZZ must know some of the best players/ex-players around and if he was to arrange a tour to raise money for Unicef, call it 'ZZ and Friends', surely some of those top players would be included.
Especially when those friends are listed on the offical website as Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi, Gennaro Gattuso, Croatian international Dado Prso and one Samuel Eto'o! Wow, those are some pretty good football friends. So ZZ and his friends Vs 'Canadian All stars'. Who wouldn't want to go to that?
Sounds like the superb Showdown In Chinatown doesn't it? Except it didn't quite turn out as awesome!
Let me set the scene. You are a ZZ nutbox like our very own NY Kid, or maybe you just love football. Eto'o is your favorite player? Well anyway, you buy tickets for 'ZZ and friends' along with 7,000 other folks. What a line up! What a spectacle! Baresi to Gattuso, he turns his marker and flips the ball to ZZ who skins 3 players and floats a ball across the pitch to Samuel Eto'o, who hits a shot on the volley first time, and rips a hole in the net. You just can't wait. The cheapest tickets are 50 bucks but that's ok, you've saved up.
Maybe you decide to treat your employees and spend 1600 bucks on VIP tickets. There you are, beer in hand at BMO field, home of Toronto FC, anytime now ZZ and friends will take to the field and show off their skills.
It's time, here they come...Woooooooo. There's ZZ, there's Baresi...No, thats not Baresi, is that Gattuso? Nope, maybe he'll be out in a minute. Where's Eto'o? You don't recognise any of Zidanes friends. WTF, who is that lining up with ZZ? Why it's Rohan Ricketts and Martin Palermo! Who? Rohan f*ckin Ricketts? Martin who?
Rohan Ricketts currently plays for...No one! He was expected to be a good player when he was a youngster at Spurs but instead turned out to be a dud. Loans to Wolves, QPR and Barnsley amounted to nothing and Ricketts signed for Toronto FC where after 39 appearances he was let go at the ripe old age of 26. Palermo is currently playing for Boca Juniors and is now 35.
Not Zidane wearing number 10, but football mega-star Rohan Ricketts.
Now punters who attended the game are demanding their money back. They have even started a facebook group called 'ZIDANE AND FRIENDS GAME WAS A SCAM! - JOIN THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!'
"You've got Zinedine Zidane, with a bunch of guys all in their 40s or 50s, playing against some 17-year-olds from Vaughan. Some of them looked like they were going to keel over and have a heart attack. Nobody had shin pads and they were all playing at half pace. It was like watching your father's house league with the boys on a Sunday. To pay $200 a ticket to see that, it's not worth it." - Jamil Frig paid 1600 bucks to treat his staff to 'ZZ and friends'.
The promoter of 'ZZ and friends', Ahcene Adlani, denies that he is in the wrong and simply blames a lack of help in organizing the events. He also says that the lack of stars is ok because it's for charity. That's ok then!
These 'ZZ and friends' games are still going on in Canada, but the website no longer lists Gennaro Gattuso or Samuel Eto'o. In fact it apologizes for a game on July 4th that Zidane himself could not attend due to a 'freak injury' and invites people to purchase tickets for the rescheduled event this coming weekend, when ZZ and his 'friends' will take on local allstars who have "trained extensively for this opportunity'. Vancouver all-stars? Shut the f*ck up! Where can I get tickets? They trained for this! AND were selected by no other than Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Crank Fucca, I mean Frank Cucca. That's it. When does the plane leave, I am IN.
Before you open your mouth and nationally advertise and promote a soccer game, do your research. Don't say you're going to bring these players over and then find out that you can't once everybody has paid for it," -Jamal Frig, angry fan.
I think Mr Frig and his angry facebook posse have a case don't you?