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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Thursday, January 24

Surprise!: Footballer Edition

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Hi, all!

We continue this month’s Mousa Dembele special by paying tribute to his friendship with Jan Vertonghen. Spurs TV didn’t take enough advantage of this duo.

Ramble of the Day

Football is hardly restricted to just the pitch. Sometimes you get players who like to make music, like Memphis Depay. Other times, you get footballers as high fashion models, like Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, and Pelé, who once did a shoot for Louis Vuitton. It’s really fun when they show in less glamorous and more random places.

For example, Thierry Henry was in my freshman year French textbook. It’s not the weirdest thing; Henry is French and French people tend to like football. It was part of an exercise in describing one’s favorite athlete and then making sure one’s grammar was correct. (I never ended up doing this exercise; I just stumbled on the page.)

The example paragraph translated to this:

Thierry Henry plays football. He is French, but his parents are West Indian. His mom is from Martinique and his dad is from Guadeloupe. Thierry Henry is rather young; he is 30 years old. He is divorced and he has a daughter. He is rather tall and thin; he is handsome. He is smart, motivated, ambitious, athletic, and very fast. He likes to watch basketball, and Tony Parker is one of his friends. I admire Thierry Henry because he is very good at playing football and he fights against racism in the sport.

I was rather amused at the fact that this paragraph included that he was handsome, but it was very early in a textbook for beginners, so I have to imagine the writers were limited to how they could describe him. As I was translating for the ramble, I chuckled at the sentence about him being rather young because at the time, he was in his final years at the New York Red Bulls, his age showing from time to time. He wasn’t a rather young athlete, or young regular person, 30 anymore, but an old athlete, rather young normal person 36.

Another notable instance of footballers showing up in unexpected places: then-FC Dallas teammates Coy Craft, Jesse Gonzalez, and Victor Ulloa starred in an Express men’s jeans campaign. This can obviously be filed in the same place the Zidane, Maradona, and Pelé shoot, but there was a certain shock value that came with MLS players being selected as models for an American retailer with no announcement. It was always a little bit of a surprise every time that ad played during Premier League coverage on NBC (which it did during every single commercial break, leaving the song stuck in my head every time).

I’m sure there’s probably a footballer surprisingly in a pet food commercial somewhere and therefore a funnier ramble, but I haven’t run into anything like that naturally.

tl;dr: Footballers in surprising places.

Links of the Day

Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara has been arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after an incident at the training ground, and has subsequently been banned from all club activities.

Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey has been charged by the FA after he was photographed doing a Nazi salute at dinner with his teammates.

David Beckham has purchased a 10 percent stake in fifth-tier side Salford City, joining his former Manchester United teammates.

Usain Bolt has retired from football.

Transfer roundup: Chelsea has signed Gonzalo Higuain on loan from AC Milan; Watford has signed goalkeeper Adam Parkes from Southampton; André Moreira has returned to Atlético Madrid, cancelling his loan at Aston Villa; Marseille has signed Mario Balotelli on a six-month contract

Today’s longer read: Tom Marshall on the hotel Marcelo Bielsa had built for the Newell’s Old Boys first team for ESPN