Well, I don’t know if “football crazy” Vietnam has the energy to go through the wringer with this one, but, here we go…
According to this post at Goal.com, and the Mail Online, football veterans Ruud van Horseface and Guti of Real Madrid are transfer targets for T&T Hanoi. Apparently “Spaniard Guti, 32, and Dutch international Van Nistelrooy, 33, have been linked with moves away from the Bernabeu since the arrival of Karim Benzema, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo…” and of course the logical step down from the Bernabeau stadium and life in Madrid is to admit they’re has-beens and come to Hanoi, if only for the bun cha and wild sessions at the bia hoi.
The preposterous story — picked up by football sites and online papers here already — might be a large clanger. I’ve read previously that the club was trying to get superstars such as Cristiano “Puffball” Ronaldo, Van Horseface and Guti out for one-off exhibition games or “guest appearances” — so perhaps a boo-boo in translation has helped bake this particular cake into a “transfer story”.
Or it could be — as suggested by Vietnam.net — just one big publicity stunt masterminded by the president of T&T Hanoi, Do Quang Hien — who, according to some sources, claims he also fancies Deco might come to the V-League, and has enough bundles of dong in the bank to make it happen — a bit like when Mr. What’s-His-Name from Hoang Anh Gia Lai bragged he could buy Arsenal. A bit of oneupmanship down in the local billionaire’s club, perhaps: – “See that little plucky Portuguese man on TV in the blue shirt and shorts? I could buy him I could…”
I just pity the poor naive fans who might think its true and get their knickers in a twist again — a la the Denilson debacle of early summer, when the Brazilian was escorted by a few-thousand-motorbikes in a cavalcade from Hanoi to Hai Phong (at least he actually came) before disappearing in a puff of smoke three weeks later after playing a paltry 45 minutes.
I mean why not try and size up some more realistic targets: What are Tony Dorigo, Stan Collymore and Eddie McGoldrick up to these days, for instance? Or if you think more exotic players would be up for life in Vietnam, give Rene Higuita and his mate Valderrama a call.