Prior to this month, the Danish forward – who scored eight goals in 36 Championship games for Middlesbrough – would probably have only ever imagined signing for Barcelona in his wildest dreams.
Few are expecting much of him at Camp Nou, despite signing a four-and-a-half-year contract complete with €300m buyout clause, and his official unveiling and presentation in full kit on the hallowed turf did little to dispel that.
In what are now viral clips, Braithwaite fluffed a few attempts at skills to look good for the camera and generally looked as underwhelming as possible in an empty stadium.
Here are some other famously dodgy transfer unveilings that set ominous precedents for the player’s time at the club…
Despite becoming the second most expensive player in the world at the time when his €145m move to Barcelona was confirmed in 2017, Ousmane Dembele had similar problems to Braithwaite at his official Camp Nou unveiling, trying to do some tricks and just, well…not.
The Frenchman has endured an incredibly tough time at Barça, largely as a result of injury. It was his torn hamstring requiring surgery that opened the door for the Braithwaite deal.
Bryan Robson took the half and half approach when he was unveiled as Middlesbrough’s player-manager. Hopefully his managerial decisions were better than his dress sense.?
Suit and tie… with shorts!? pic.twitter.com/cIP6TkqTJR
— Park Life Sport (@ParkLife_Sport) February 21, 2020
Bryan Robson’s unveiling as new Middlesbrough player-manager in 1994 was not for the fashion-conscious. He was player-manager, we get it, but did one of the greatest midfielders in English football history have to be dressed in a suits/shorts combo to drive that point home?
There was obviously some thought there because Robson looked the business from the waist up in a jacket, shirt and tie. The ‘look’ was completed with the club’s red socks. But no one gave him any boots, so he stood there on the pitch shoe-less.
Paolo Di Canio
Sheffield Wednesday did little to avoid Italian stereotypes and clichés when they signed Paolo Di Canio in the summer of 1997, giving their new star forward a pizza to pose with.
It wasn’t even a cooked pizza and had the distinct look of someone having popped over to a nearby supermarket and grabbed one out of the freezer section, rather than authentic Napolitano.
Yeovil Town took inspiration from Tinder to announce their signing of free agent midfielder Oscar Gobern in 2018, proudly announcing ‘It’s a Match!’ after previously swiping left on Lionel Messi, Ronaldo – El Fenomeno, and err…Lee Trundle.
Gobern was at Yeovil for all of one season and played 14 times.
Andre Moreira is another player you probably won’t have heard of, but the way Aston Villa announced the goalkeeper’s loan arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2018 is something you shouldn’t forget any time soon. He only played twice for Villa, if you were interested.
You see, the 2018 series of Love Island had just been on, so the club’s social media team used an ‘I’ve got a text!’ clip from the show (if you’ve never seen it, don’t ask), with that text confirming that ‘Andre Moreira has entered the Villa’. Even at the time, it was dreadfully naff.
They say one picture is worth 1,000 words. That may be no truer than the image capturing the look on the face of Real Madrid icon Alfredo Di Stefano when he was tasked with holding up a shirt at the unveiling of new signing Julien Faubert in 2009.
Faubert had been a flop at West Ham, so why Real wanted the French winger at the Bernabeu was an utter mystery. He did nothing to prove anybody wrong either, playing just twice for the club and has been forced to deny that he once fell asleep on the bench.
Falling over at your presentation for your new club, while posing for photographs and dressed in full kit, is embarrassing. But perhaps even doing it on purpose to get a laugh is beyond cringe-inducing.
When Yevhen Konoplyanka joined Sevilla on a free transfer in 2015, he ended up on the deck. But there appeared to have been nothing in that moment that could have possibly made him fall over, begging the question of whether it was actually forced.
He didn’t fall over the ball in front of him, or even his own feet. He just fell for no reason. Odd.
Roberto Soldado needed a win after his £24m move to Tottenham produced just seven Premier League goals in two seasons, bearing in mind this was the man primarily tasked with replacing Gareth Bale as the team’s chief source of attacking threat.
He did not get that win when his unveiling at new club Villarreal in 2015 was marked by his apparent failure to kick a ball to a group of fans in the stand in front of him at El Madrigal.
That bloody piano.
If you’re going to go big, in any walk of life, you have to back it up. And while Manchester United had no idea just how bad Alexis Sanchez would prove to be after paying him the earth to choose them over Manchester City, to put him on the Old Trafford pitch playing a piano, they had to be sure the Chilean was going to be a home run swing. And…he wasn’t.
Every presentation the club has done since has been very understated in comparison and that piano will be the yardstick against which all bad transfer unveilings are measured for a long time.
Best Worst Unveiling: Stuart Taylor
Southampton’s announcement that third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor had signed a new one-year contract cannot possibly be considered ‘bad’ because it was completely deliberately awful.
The Saints have always had strong social media game and saw it as a perfect opportunity to poke fun at the increasingly popular vastly overproduced club announcements.
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