Every Monday, theScore will highlight the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of European football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.
With the international break providing little in the way of excitement, the theme of the week was sidesteps and circumventing, as footballers the world over found canny means to dodge and duck. There’s no escaping this weird week in football.
Valencia’s Ecuadorean escape
Ecuador’s potent performance during last Thursday’s 3-0 World Cup qualifier victory over Chile should have garnered the plaudits, instead it was Enner Valencia’s getaway eight minutes from time that hogged the headlines.
Related – Watch: Valencia’s medical cart outruns police amid unpaid child support claims
After craftily dodging local police in Quito, Valencia responded to the scene the following day, and the on-loan West Ham winger provided an elaborate explanation for his creative escape. What a mess.
Russian FA bails on Berezutsky bash
To honour defender Vasily Berezutski’s 100th cap, the Russian FA had planned a small halftime tribute during Sunday’s friendly against Costa Rica, only for CSKA Moscow standout to score an own goal seconds before the interval.
According to sports.ru, the 2018 World Cup hosts pulled the plug on the praise and plaudits after having tweeted earlier in the match the plan to present Berezutski with a commemorative medal. The Tweet was quickly deleted.
To make matters worst, Berezutski conceded the 91st-minute penalty that resulted in Los Ticos’ last-ditch winner.
The Welsh welch on conventional photo
Continuing the theme of evasive footballers is the Welsh national team and its take on pre-match photos. This is one of those things where the party responsible finds it far funnier than those not involved.
Related – Look: Wales taking the mick with team photo hijinks
Perhaps the Dragons will ditch this ruse after the latest display was followed by a stodgy 1-1 draw with Georgia.
Cech yourself before you wreck yourself
With the holidays fast approaching, anyone looking to both blow £30 and transform a loved one into a mockery need not search further than Arsenal shot-stopper Petr Cech’s foray into winter wear.
Watch: Arsenal’s Cech unveils headgear-inspired winter wear
Evra the cheery
Finally, for anyone with a case of the Monday’s, Juventus full-back Patrice Evra has the cure with a gleeful rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
“You shouldn’t let me discover Insta!” … on the contrary, Patrice. Have a lovely week.