Setting up new signings to immediately look silly probably isn’t a practice worth continuing
Barcelona have made 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele the second most expensive player of all time to help make up for the loss of the most expensive player of all time. Despite prolonging their embarrassment on the Neymar front by suing their former player for breach of contract, one would think that Barcelona would want to do whatever they can to ensure positive vibes only from here on out. Instead, they gave Dembele a ball, put him in front of a bunch of cameras and told him to do something that he wasn’t acquired to do: Kick ups.
He started off well enough, but things quickly went down hill.
⚽️ Camp Nou ⚽️
?? #DembeleDay pic.twitter.com/PXnARtoK9D
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 28, 2017
Of course, it was the “down hill” part that went viral.
Dembele 150 millones? pic.twitter.com/X6xE73TToI
— El Gol Garracol (@ElGolGarracol) August 28, 2017
And became the headline.
The same thing happened with Barcelona’s other recent signing, Paulinho, who was already the butt of jokes even before being set up for embarrassment.
Senhoras e senhores, @paulinhop8! pic.twitter.com/JvDcAgPsmJ
— Geração 7 a 1 (@geracaoseteaum) August 19, 2017
It’s not just Barcelona that have new signings do kick ups at their unveiling, but it’s one that never leads to anything positive. Even if the player sets a new Guinness World Record, the kick-ups are going end at some point and the isolated clip of that moment is what will be spread around the internet as evidence that the player was an absolute waste of money and a laughingstock. But kick ups are just a novelty that happen to use the same tool (a ball) as the actual trade of playing football. Ousmane Dembele wasn’t brought to Barcelona to entertain tourists on a street corner for coins in a hat. He was brought in to play football.
This would be like a restaurant hiring a new chef and having him spin plates on sticks in front of the press. “Ah! He let the plates break, he can’t cook for shit!” That’s not how it works.
So stop making new signings do kick ups at their grand unveiling to the press and public. Give them a shirt to hold up, have them sign a few autographs, meet some kids, and call it a day, because anything more is asking for trouble.
Oh, and stop with the mid-medical photos, too. It’s creepy and weird.
Follow Brooks on Twitter @BrooksDT.