Thankfully not burdened by the inconvenience of the ongoing European Championships, the England national team are free to indulge in their favourite passtimes. As such, Wayne Rooney is off in Ibiza smoking and drinking, Joey Barton is in jail, D. Beck is getting his face tattooed, and good old Rio Ferdinand is dressing up in ridiculous clothes while people he doesn’t know tell him he’s great. Rio is currently shaking in his boots and going back to his roots in Africa, promoting education through football (not gun-crime) in Lagos, Nigeria. While standing on stage next to the clever chaps who actually came up with the proposal to build a football academy in the kidnap-tastic city, Rio used his trademarked ‘gun hands’ to highlight the plan’s key points expertly.
In the superb banquet that followed, King Akiolu gave Rio the honorary title of Chief Fiwagboola (seriously) which appropriately means “character maketh wealth.” The irony that a couple of weeks worth of Rio’s salary could significantly benefit the country’s poor and fractured infrastructure was seemingly lost on all involved however. The Nigerian King conducted the ceremony at his palace while wearing an old Manchester Untied shirt with his name on the back, which Rio apparently tried to get hold of to play one of his now legendary pranks. However, negotiations for the prank stalled when he approached one of the King’s aids and was told that he could do it, but then he would literally just be killed.
In a surprisingly out-of-character display of humility, Rio told The Sun: “I’m a little embarrassed to be named a Chief, I’m not sure I’m worthy. It’s something to tell the lads. I’m sure they’ll be very happy to call me Chief.” Rio launched the country’s street soccer festival and played a game against a team captained by the Governor of Lagos. The Governor said: “I hope this visit by Rio will inspire the young in our country today.” Without wanting to sound cynical (or racist) I’m sure it’ll only really inspire them to try and rob him. I mean, when you try and assassinate your country’s most famous footballer, you’ve got to ask questions.