Players of Championship clubs Crystal Palace and Cardiff City have spoken of their delight at contesting a match that, at first glance and if you squinted a bit, looked just like El Clasico.
Wearing their traditional blue and red home jerseys, Dougie Freedman‘s Eagles side secured a 1-0 Carling Cup semi-final first leg advantage over Malkay Mackay’s Bluebirds, who were clad in their all-white away strip for the trip to Selhurst Park and are now being urged to take the unusual step of donning it again when they welcome Palace to Cardiff City Stadium on January 24th.
Although the match itself was largely a drab affair, players from both sides have declared it to be the undoubted highlight of their career thus far, raising debate within FA circles as to whether all games between Football League clubs could be spiced up by the provision of style consultants and a costume department.
Palace goal-scorer Anthony Gardner said: “It’s every kid’s dream to score the winner in a big match like Barcelona vs Real Madrid, and it’s the next best thing to do so in a match that sort of resembles it, in a way.
“As a schoolboy, I once played for a yellow-shirted side against a team with blue-and-white-striped shirts, and I once knocked a ball about in the park with someone wearing an Ajax shirt, but if you’d told me that one day I’d bag the decisive goal in a match that kind of looked a bit like El Clasico, at least from a wardrobe perspective, I’d have said you were winding me up.
“Obviously it’s up to Cardiff what they wear in the second leg but it would be great to live out the fantasy all over again, and I was sure to call dibs on Messi the moment the final whistle blew last night, just in case.”
Cardiff midfielder Peter Whittingham said: “BAGSY RONALDO!”
Cardiff striker Kenny Miller said: “…GSY RONALDO! Ah, nuts.”
An FA spokesperson has confirmed that this weekend’s match between Hull City and Peterborough United will take place in a “cowboys and Indians” theme, which if successful could pave the way for a widespread implementation of fancy dress for all Football League fixtures.
The spokesperson said: “It’s early days but, by the end of 2012, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that you could be watching Watford against Darlington with every player on the pitch dressed as Bruce Forsyth. Now who amongst us wouldn’t pay a substantial subscription fee to see that?”
He added: “The Brucie thing was my idea, by the way. I just love Brucie.”