Footballers v Animals: a recent history

Enzo Jimenez throws dog
Jimenez… Ill advised move

You may have seen a man try to throw a shoe over a pub – but have you ever seen a footballer try to throw a dog over a fence?

That’s what Bella Vista player Enzo Jimenez tried to do when a stray pooch interrupted his side’s game against San Juan, a regrettable action for which he was sent off and has since been fired by his club for…

Of course, it’s not the first time that a footballer has found himself in a spot of bother over the on-field encroachment of another species.

Join us, then, in looking back at a recent history of Footballers v Animals…

Loris Benito v pine marten, March 2013

A Swiss League match between FC Thun and Zürich was disrupted when a pine marten, similar to a weasel, bolted onto the field of play and managed to evade capture for over five minutes.

Benito eventually managed to nab it but was bitten for his troubles, leaving it up to Zurich goalkeeper Davide Da Costa to pick up the marten with gloved hands…

Two dogs, one Galatasaray match, January 2013


Ali Al-Habsi & Yakubu v chicken, May 2012

A late-season relegation tussle between Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic descended into farce when a chicken decorated in the home side’s colours – presumably there as a Venky’s mascot rather than a paying punter – waddled onto the pitch, prompting the Latics’ goalkeeper and Rovers striker to collaborate in its capture and safe return…

The Anfield cat, February 2012

This cheeky little scamp interrupted a televised match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur – not that anyone seemed to mind all that much, waiting for the stray tabby to make its own way off the pitch…

Luis Moreno kicks owl, March 2011

The owl, a good luck charm for supporters of the home team, Colombian side Junior Barranquilla, landed near the corner flag during a match against Pereira and was struck by the ball.

Although the referee then halted proceedings to deal with the matter, Pereira player Moreno ran up to the owl and booted it away, later claiming that he was trying to prompt it to fly away.

It was treated at a local veterinary clinic but later died of stress related to the incident.

Moreno was handed a two-match ban, a $560 fine and was ordered to cover veterinary costs for the owl’s treatment as well as do community service at a zoo.

Mahamadou Habib Habibou v duck, October 2010

When a Belgian top-flight match between Zulte-Waregem and Lokeren was halted for fowl play (arf!), Zulte striker Habib Habibou grabbed the intruder and lobbed it off the pitch, thankfully not appearing to cause it damage…