31 January, 2008

Obscure South American of the Week Ocho

Name – Jonas Gutierrez

Affiliation - Real Mallorca

Reason for coolness – Well this one writes itself. When he scores, he puts on a freaking Spiderman mask and then pretends to shoot webs! Peep if for yourself here:

Reason for obscurity – Let’s be honest, the only thing that really springs to mind when you think about Mallorca (or Majorca as we tend to call it) is thousands of pikey sunburned Brits wearing England shirts and being sick on themselves in Shagaluf. It’s a pretty ugly reputation so anything associated is usually tarred with the same enormous herpes-infested brush.

Perhaps the most obscure chap we’ve featured here to date, Jonas is actually in the public eye at the moment due to speculated interested from Manchester City and Portsmouth. A right-sided wing forward originally from the Buenos Aires Province in Argentina, he played for league side Velez Sarsfield for nearly 5 seasons, making his debut at the age of 17. Before moving to Mallorca in 2005, he celebrated winning the Primera Division Argentina Clausura Tournament with Velez, meaning they finished one of the two league champions that year. To briefly explain, Argentinian football has no cup competitions, so each year the 20 teams in the top flight just play two single-round tournaments, the Clausura (February to June) and the Apertura (August to December), thus there are two champions each season. Thanks for that Wiki, very concise.

Anyway, the 25-year-old, who also made his international debut early last year, seems likely to move to either of the aforementioned clubs before midnight tonight. Having lost Bianchi on loan till the end of the season, Man City are keen to find a superior replacement, and if they decide against Gutierrez in favour of Portsmouth’s own Benjani, then the Mallorca star would clearly also fit in nicely down on the south coast too. The only potential complication for any move is that 50% of his transfer value would go to his former club Velez, which is why Mallorca are holding out for a high price of around £8m.

Ok enough boring facts, let’s talk Spiderman. Let’s get the logistics out of the way first; yes, he must play with that mask shoved down his sweaty shorts every game, which makes the feat even more impressive, as presumably he does not stow it in a sealed vacuum bag. From the first instance he did it a couple of years back in La Liga, Gutierrez has become somewhat of a cult at Mallorca, with many fans and press actually just calling him Spiderman now. The exact meaning behind the act, if there is one other than its looks cool, escapes us at the moment since we are not blessed with enough (or in fact any) fluency in Spanish to read his online interviews. Therefore, please insert your own incongruous / sexual / both speculation here.

Anyway, I’m generally a little jealous, and wonder if I started wearing similar superhero masks whenever I completed an important presentation or something, would people then start calling me Batman etc around the office? That would be ace, and would make work almost worthwhile. Alternatively I could just roam the streets, violently drunk wearing a selection masks and pretending to be crazy, that way people would call me whatever I wanted…remember that kids, fear is a powerful tool to obtain the seemingly unobtainable.