You thought you’d had some pretty surreal nights at 5-a-side, but it turns out that all the melodrama of your players throwing tantrums, getting needlessly involved in skirmishes with the opposition, and that referee who never even watches your game – they were all tame in comparison to this.
That’s because Mastercard have gone further than we ever thought possible for a game of 5-a-side.
On a cold evening in Turkey, a group of 5-a-side players warmed up ready for their usual game. What they didn’t know is that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary night. Corporate giants Mastercard had spent weeks planning on making these Turkish 5-a-side players feel less like they were kicking about in a cage on a chilly Tuesday, and instead making it seem as if they were in their very own Champions League final.
First, the Champions League music blared out, then down dropped a curtain revealing a small but raucous crowd complete with flags and horns. Whilst the players stood shell shocked, on ran a group of ballboys waving the classic Champions League flag. It looked just like a mini version of a real Champions League game.
I imagine if this happened to most of us we’d react in the same way as the guy in the following photo. A face that embody’s the question “what on earth is going on here?” (or maybe “I told my Sunday League team I was injured”).
As if it wasn’t already serious enough, legendary referee Pierluigi Collina laid on the final surprise as he officiated the whole affair.
By this point, you could be forgiven for thinking you were actually in the Champions League Final its self, as the guy below on the right’s ‘game face’ seems to indicate. I’ve played enough football to know that look – it’s as if to say “I’m pumped, and not even Pierluigi Collina is going to save you from what I’m going to do to you”.
Sadly, we’ll never know how it turned out – it doesn’t show much footage from the actual game at all. The video fizzles out into a couple of marketing slogans for Mastercard (I’d try to decipher them, but my Turkish is a bit rusty) followed by some bizarre footage of Collina seemingly being bribed with some pastry. Enjoy