Cristiano Ronaldo ‘almost certainly’ not Czech

The Portuguese footballing authorities have reacted angrily to suggestions from their Czech counterparts that Cristiano Ronaldo is, in fact, of Czech ethnicity, in an apparent bid to shoehorn the Real Madrid star into spearheading their Euro 2016 qualification campaign. Comments made by Czech F.A. president Miroslav Pelta, in an interview with Česká Televize broadcast last week, clearly indicated the audacious intentions of the central European nation towards the seemingly Portuguese sporting demi-god, leaving the football world reeling and plunging the superstar into a major existential crisis. “When Sporting came to Prague to play Sparta in a 2002 UEFA Cup tie” Pelta stated, “a young Cristiano – or Honza, as we prefer to call him – was observed enjoying Svíčková and knocking back several quarts of Kofola at a poky little dive in Holešovice. It has been scientifically proven that no-one not of Czech or Slovak origin could possibly enjoy Svíčková, so we are in no doubt as to the justice of our claim. Furthermore, we believe that conceding to our claim on the player would be a welcome gesture of historical restitution from the Portuguese, considering that they occupied our nation for four hundred years, denying our basic rights and making us eat sardines all the time.” When questioned as to the realism of the bid, Pelta simply replied, “We are confident that, even making his debut for us at the age of thirty, the player will comfortably surpass Jan Koller’s record of fifty-five goals in ninety-one appearances, to become, potentially, the greatest Czech footballer of all time.”

Tý vole!” spat Fernando Gomes, President of the Portuguese Football Federation, in response to the comments, “Cristiano has never knowingly been skiing, has very little interest in ice hockey and has no idea who Jaroslav Hašek was. We are ninety-nine percent certain that there is nothing remotely Slavic about him or any of our players, with the possible exception of Raul Meireles, who is arguably a bit Serbian. As such, we strongly urge the Czechs to drop this ridiculous claim at once.” Expert analysts, looking ahead to a special UEFA hearing on the matter in January, have suggested that the weight of the available evidence strongly favours the Portuguese case; nevertheless, the former Manchester United ace is reported to be “extremely nervous” about the prospect of having to master the Czech language’s notoriously arcane noun declension system and develop a taste for Becherovka, having been happily Portuguese for most of his life. His supermodel girlfriend, Irina Shayková, has declined to comment.

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