Forget about the 50,000 people locked away in the stands at the Santiago Bernabeu this week who came to welcome Kaka. The best and most unlikely welcome for any footballer in Europe this week has to be the effort of Turkish side Ankaragucu, who put on an incredibly over-hyped introduction for Man City reject Darius Vassell.
A reported 3,000 fans turned up at what appeared to be a parking lot to burn flares, wave scarfs and enthusiastically sing in anticipation of the former England striker. Obviously no-one appeared to have told then that Vassell only scored one goal last season, to add to his rather pathetic overall record of eighteen goals in his last four years at City.
When Vassell finally appeared the crowd erupted into chaos, and the has-been striker was mobbed by the hysterical Ankaragucu fans who draped him in scarfs and flags. Unsurprisingly, Vassell looked visibly taken-aback as the crowd chanted his name and let off flares.
And the fans weren’t stopping with that.
In scenes more accustomed to stars like David Beckham, around 50 buses and 250 cars then caravanned behind Vassell’s car as the player travelled from the airport to hotel.
The bizarre scenes welcoming Darius Vassell to Ankaragucu can be seen here.
(We enjoyed the placard shown at 1.30 minutes, noticably one of the few signs shown of the film, which spelt Darius’ name wrong.)