You don’t have to be a diehard soccer fan to know people in Europe tend to take the sport very, very seriously. Unfortunately, supporters of Spain’s Málaga CF haven’t had a ton to cheer for in recent years—and those frustrations caused a pretty amusing scene at a local airport.
I’m going to assume most people reading this aren’t intimately familiar with the club that currently plays in Primera Federación (the third tier of the Spanish soccer system), where they fell earlier this year after being relegated from the Segunda División for the third time in 25 years.
The past decade or so has been defined by financial issues that led to Málaga being temporarily banned from UEFA competition and have forced the club to repeatedly sell off some of its best talent, and it’s continued to struggle to recruit (and retain) valuable players as it grapples with an uphill battle with no immediate end in sight.
With that said, Málaga still boasts plenty of passionate fans who are intent on making lemonade out of the mountain of lemons the club has managed to rack up—which includes a group of supporters who decided to have some fun after the team failed to make any notable signings over the summer.
Lionel Messi is just one of the many players who’ve been greeted by a massive horde of soccer fans at an airport after signing with a team, and while Málaga failed to secure the talents of anyone capable of inspiring that kind of welcome party, a group of diehards nonetheless decided to make to trek to Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport to roll out the metaphorical red carpet for a random guy who got the superstar treatment.
Malaga fans were so disappointed at the club not making a Summer signing that they picked a random tourist at the airport to greet as a new playerpic.twitter.com/0by5ny1uBR
— COPA90 (@Copa90) August 22, 2023
It’s pretty clear the dude they targeted had no idea what he’d gotten himself into, but you have to give him credit for playing along with the stunt and even agreeing to sign the No. 69 “jersey” (which was really just a white shirt that was drawn on with a Sharpie) that was presented to him by the Málaga faithful.
That’s just a job well done by everyone involved.