No football match can begin without the team photo. A time for players to gather in front of the cameras, make sure not a single hair is out of place, put their game faces on and come together in unity. Sounds simple enough, but it’s the ones that don’t go to plan we all remember.
From uninvited guests to real-life “Photoshop”, here are some of the best (or worst) team photos ever taken.
CRISTIANO RONALDO: ON HIS TIPTOES
He’s one of the best football players on the planet and he’s got the ego to go with it. The Portuguese superstar even has to make sure that he stands out in the team photo. It’s not obvious at first glance but look close enough and you’ll notice that Ronaldo is standing on his tiptoes. Those few extra centimetres really make a difference, right?
ASHLEY COLE: HE’S NOT WITH US
It didn’t take Ashley Cole long to fit in at his new team A.S. Roma. Oh wait. This unfortunate picture was shared by the Italian side on their Twitter page and spawned a host of memes poking fun at the player.
At least his teammate Francesco Totti saw the funny side of things:
JEROME BOATENG AND DANTE: LOOKING GOOD
It doesn’t matter if the cameras are flashing before the start of a match or if it’s the official team photo. You still need to look the part. Good thing Jerome Boateng and Dante have learned some tricks of the trade, as seen in this shoot for the 2014/15 season when both players pulled on their jerseys to make sure their physiques shone through in the final version.
HORSTEN LEGAT: HUMOUR CAN BE EXPENSIVE
The retired German footballer decided to add a little humour to Schalke’s official team photo back in 2000. Following a bet with his teammates, the rugged midfielder hiked his pants up until they were almost to his chest. It was very much as case of “win some, lose some” as the 2,000 Deutschmark (£800) he won for the bet went straight into paying the 27,000 DM (£11,000) fine he received for his actions.
MANCHESTER UNITED: AN UNINVITED GUEST
The Manchester United team had a surprise when a new teammate turned up for their pre-match photo before their Champions League game against Bayern Munich.
You’ve got to give it to him though: he was dressed for the part, and it was only Gary Neville who noticed that he shouldn’t be there.
Who was it? Karl Power, the hoaxer who has gone on to appear on centre court at Wimbledon and walk out to bat for England at Headingley, amongst other exploits.