The 14 worst player unveilings after Martin Braithwaite's Barcelona nightmare


Martin Braithwaite became the latest new Barcelona signing to be embarrassed during his unveiling.

Why Spanish clubs persist on making a new arrival do a few skills is beyond us.

There is very little to gain in a player doing a few kick-ups and a lot to lose.

Of course, if you’re signing for the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid, you’re expected to be able to keep the ball in the air for a few minutes.

But sometimes, the pressure is just too much and they end up looking stupid before they’ve even kicked a ball in anger.

Inspired by Braithwaite’s nightmare unveiling, we’ve decided to look at 15 of the worst presentations in football history.

From failed kick-ups to pizza - the below list has absolutely everything.

14 | Douglas | Barcelona

Perhaps a bit harsh on Barca’s 2014 signing to include him on the list but we expect a player signing for the Camp Nou club to be able to control the ball.

After a few keepy-uppies, the right-back attempts to trap the ball only for it to hit his toe and bounce away. He awkwardly has to run to retrieve it.

13 | Bryan Robson | Middlesbrough

We can’t decide whether this is brilliant or awful. Bryan Robson signed as a player-manager for Middlesbrough so the club decided to go for the smart-casual look.

Suit and tie on top, shorts and socks down low.



12 | Lee Bowyer | Leeds

Bowyer became the most expensive teenager in English football when he joined Leeds from Charlton in 1996.

But how do you spoil his big day? By making him pose with his parents on the pitch.

Just look how awkward he looks.


11 | Paulo di Canio | Sheffield Wednesday

There’s nothing like a good stereotype, is there?

When Italian Di Canio joined fellow Italian Benito Carbone at Sheffield Wednesday, how else to unveil him by making the pair pretend to eat a pizza.

Not just any old pizza but a £1.50 ham and mushroom frozen pizza from Asda. Not cooked but raw…


10 | David Ginola | Tottenham

Most unveilings feature the new player holding the shirt of his new side. But Tottenham clearly wanted to show off their new player’s physique so had Ginola posing topless on the pitch holding the Spurs shirt.



9 | Omar Gonzalez | Pachuca

Having a player disguise himself as Darth Vader is pretty original but perhaps a bit over the top - especially when the player signing is relatively unknown.

It probably would have been better if the guy revealing the signing didn’t say the players’ name before he took off his mask.

8 | Mariano | Sevilla

At least Mariano didn’t humiliate himself in front of a packed stadium.

Instead, his unveiling appeared to be in a little board room.

But the Brazilian could barely do five keepy-uppies. He wasn’t much better his with head, either.

7 | Paulinho | Barcelona

After signing for £36.5m, big things were expected of Paulinho. But six touches into his unveiling, the ball was rolling away from him.

It always makes it worse when it’s on the Camp Nou pitch in front of loads of supporters.

6 | Martin Brathwaite | Barcelona

Brathwaite’s signing was questionable already and that was before he attempted two rainbow flicks during his unveiling - and failed miserably.

5 | Roberto Soldado | Villarreal

As a striker, you’d expect Soldado to be pretty accurate with his shooting. However, he was arriving from Tottenham where he had scored just seven league goals in 52 games.

And he was clearly rusty.

He was given a ball to kick into the lower-tier of the Estadio de la Cerámica, where the Villarreal fans had gathered to catch a glimpse of their new signing.

But he proceeded to boot the ball into the upper tier.

Try again, Roberto.

But once again, he smashed it into the empty upper tier.

4 | Marcelo Sosa | Atletico Madrid

Sosa was on the Vicente Calderon pitch when he made a fool of himself.

Sosa tried controlling a wayward header but ended up slipping on his backside. We’re not sure how many Atleti fans were in the stadium but we’re sure they weren’t impressed.

3 | Ousmane Dembele | Barcelona

We should have known Dembele’s £135.5m move to Barcelona would be a failure after his terrible unveiling.

After failing to keep the ball up, the Frenchman decided he would attempt a rainbow flick. It looked so amateurish.

The worst thing was that thousands of fans had come to watch him.

2 | Theo Hernandez | Real Madrid

Hernandez can consider himself very lucky not to be at No.1.

On his third kick of the ball, Hernandez was chasing the ball around the Bernabeu pitch. A few touches later and he’s booting the ball into the air before failing to control it.

He then quickly picks the ball up to save himself any further embarrassment.

1 | Marco Perez | Real Zaragoza

You may not have heard of Marco Perez but this is just golden. Perez was simply running with the ball when he attempt a few stopovers.

But disaster struck when he accidentally trod on it and sent himself flying on the Real Zaragoza pitch in front of everyone.

You have to credit his ability to pick himself up and act as though nothing happened.


Unfortunately, pitch unveilings are becoming a rare occurrence - especially in England.

Nowadays, an extravagant social media unveiling video is the way clubs announce new signings.

But we’re forever grateful to Spain for continuing to make players do a few skills in front of thousands of fans.

It must be nerve-wracking for a player - no matter how good they are - to be made to do a few skills with supporters watching on.

We just hope the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid continue with this tradition.

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