Biggest transfer gaffes after Ronaldo said he'd moved to South Africa
Robinho thinking he’d signed for Chelsea, Martin Braithwaite’s embarrassing keepy-uppy attempts, and Kieran Trippier pointing to his sleeve instead of the badge – football’s biggest unveiling gaffes after Ronaldo thought Al-Nassr were in South Africa
- Cristiano Ronaldo was officially unveiled as an Al-Nassr player on Tuesday
- However, the former Man United star mistook Saudi Arabia for South Africa
- In 2008, Brazilian Robinho thought that he’d signed for Chelsea, not Man City
- Sportsmail takes a look back at some of the best unveiling gaffes over the years
The footballing world has been gripped by Cristiano Ronaldo completing his sensational £175m-a-year move to Saudi side Al-Nassr following his bitter Manchester United exit.
Despite receiving the warmest of welcomes in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo announced that he was happy to move to South Africa at his official unveiling in the Middle East.
Video footage released on social media shows Ronaldo saying: ‘The football is different, so for me it’s not the end of my career to come to South Africa. This is why I want to change, and to be honest I’m really not worried about what people say.’
But Ronaldo will be pleased to know he is not alone when it comes to transfer faux pas. Here, Sportsmail looks back at some of the best over the years.
Cristiano Ronaldo made an awkward gaffe on his Al-Nassr unveiling after saying he was pleased to move to South Africa instead of Saudi Arabia
Robinho thinks he has joined Chelsea after breaking transfer record to join Manchester City
Back in 2008, Brazilian star Robinho had been desperate to leave Real Madrid to join Chelsea.
However, the then-24-year-old instead broke the British transfer record when he signed for Manchester City for £32.5m.
Unfortunately for Robinho, he made a glaring error when quizzed by journalists about his new club.
‘On the last day of transfers, Chelsea made a good offer for me personally, and good for Real Madrid, and it was accepted,’ he said, before someone pointed out his gaffe.
‘Chelsea? No, Manchester. Sorry,’ he added.
Robinho holds his No 10 shirt alongside Man City boss at the time Mark Hughes
Martin Braithwaite and Theo Hernandez shockers at Nou Camp and Bernabeu unveilings
In 2020, Braithwaite completed a controversial emergency transfer from Leganes after Barcelona triggered his £16m release clause following permission by La Liga.
As is custom with Barcelona signings, Braithwaite was unveiled at the Nou Camp – but in strange circumstances.
Due to the pandemic, the striker was forced to perform in the iconic stadium without any fans on hand to watch.
You would think this might have eased his nerves, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case and the new signing failed to impress, putting on a terrible attempt at showing off his skills.
Footage made its way onto social media showing the then-28-year-old attempting to roll the ball between both feet in alternating rhythm, before looking to attempt a ‘rainbow flick’ and chip it into the air.
But after two unsuccessful attempts, the striker decided to give up and simply dribbled around before being ridiculed on social media.
Braithwate, I guess you could say, was following in Theo Hernandez’s footsteps who had similar success (or lack of) when he signed for Real Madrid in 2017.
The £20m signing felt the pressure in front of a smattering of fans at the Bernabeu and could only manage six keepy ups before the ball hit the deck.
It’s fair to say Hernandez has come a long way since then, having achieved World Cup glory with France in 2018.
Where’s the badge gone? Kieran Trippier and Maxwell Cornet miss their new club’s crests…by some distance!
One of the go-to poses when a new player makes a move is to point to the badge as a show of passion to the fans.
But unfortunately for Kieran Trippier and Maxwell Cornet, they both embarrassingly failed in finding where the badge was.
Last January, Trippier became Newcastle’s first signing under their Saudi-backed owners in a £12m deal after a fine spell at Atletico Madrid.
But fans were quick to notice a blunder after Newcastle posted a picture of their new addition pointing at his sleeve rather than the Toon crest.
He’s not the first to do it though by any means. Just six months earlier, Burnley signed Ivory Coast international Maxwel Cornet from Lyon.
But similarly to Trippier, Cornet missed the Clarets’ crest during his signing photos and found himself pointing to the Umbro badge on his new kit.
Both Kieran Trippier and Maxwell Cornet failed to realise that they were not pointing at their new club’s crests
Everton spell Gerard Deulofeu’s name wrong on the back of new shirts for sale
It’s by no means an easy name to spell, but you would have hoped Everton would have done their due diligence before trying to flog shirts with their new signing’s name on the back.
Deulofeu, a product of the famous La Masia academy, initially signed for the Toffees on loan from Barcelona in 2013.
It cost Everton £4.2m to make the move permanent – after he had another loan spell at Sevilla – and he made a great impact on his arrival in the Premier League with his lightning speed off the mark tormenting defenders.
He was signed as one of the most promising young talents around, but for anyone wanting to parade his name on the back of their shirts, I hope they kept a receipt.
The embarrassing error saw the incoming Everton star’s name spelled as ‘Deufoleu’ by mistake. At least they got the number right!
Everton shirts are seen on display with Gerard Deulofeu’s name spelt incorrectly (right)
Benteke claims he is a Burnley player on Twitter after signing for Crystal Palace
When the ex-Liverpool striker completed his move to Crystal Palace in a club-record deal worth up to £32m in 2016, he suffered somewhat of a PR disaster.
His updated Twitter profile featured pictures of himself in a Palace shirt but the bio read: ‘Burnleyl FC and Belgium national team’. His location remained as Liverpool.
The then-25-year-old then changed the club to CPFC, but not before the error was mocked by several of his 350,000 followers.
Benteke soon realised and apologised to his new fan base, tweeting: ‘Oops my bad lol Yes I signed for cpfc and not burnley. Sorry for the little mistake the person that manages my Twitter got a little confused’.
After signing for Crystal Palace, Christian Benteke accidentally said he was a Burnley player on Twitter
Spurs flop Roberto Soldado fails to kick the ball into Villarreal crowd… TWICE
Roberto Soldado became Spurs’ most expensive signing when he moved to north London from Valencia for £26m in August 2013.
It’s fair to say he didn’t have the best spell at Tottenham, scoring just 16 goals in 76 appearances over the course of his two seasons at White Hart Lane.
The Spanish striker returned home in 2015 – this time to join Villarreal in the hope of resetting his career but it got off to the worst possible start.
During his unveiling, Soldado was tasked with kicking the ball into the small selection of fans in the stands.
But it couldn’t have gone worse, as the striker over-estimated the distance and booted the ball over their heads, not once but twice.
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