Ballon D'Oh 2011: Panama's Owl Murdering Luis Moreno

Forget sulking on benches, outspoken rants, bad acting and Twitter theories, Deportivo Pereira’s Luis Moreno kicked an opponent's mascot to death. Only in Colombia...
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Forget sulking on benches, outspoken rants, bad acting and Twitter theories, Deportivo Pereira’s Luis Moreno kicked an opponent's mascot to death. Only in Colombia...

Forget sulking on benches, outspoken rants, bad acting and Twitter theories, Deportivo Pereira’s Luis Moreno kicked an opponent's mascot to death. Only in Colombia...

Colombia. They do things differently there.

In a country whose economy is almost exclusively reliant on successfully exporting vast quantities of recreational snorting’s most overrated commodity, you really need to do something special to stand out from the gun-toting, kidnapping, executing-in-broad-daylight crowd.

So when Luis Moreno, Deportivo Pereira’s peripheral defensive manifestation, kicked an owl to death you’d be forgiven for thinking it wouldn’t even register in the collective consciousness of a population long schooled in the art of shrugging at ruthless brutality. But no. This wasn’t just any old owl. This was rival club Junior de Barranquilla’s much-loved unofficial mascot, a national treasure and celebrity on a par with Eamonn Holmes. Probably.

What the f**k the bird was doing on the pitch in the first place.

Having taken the hoary old adage “if in doubt…” to its hoot-snuffing apogee, Moreno was forced to apologise to a traumatised nation. Employing the admirably half-cocked mitigation that he was merely “trying to help it fly away”, mimicking serial killing necrophile Jeffery Dahmer’s defence that he was simply trying to encourage his victims to strive for greatness by putting his penis in their severed heads. Watertight.

After serving a three-match ban Moreno promptly skulked back to his native Panama (rumours of an advisory role on the Venky’s board remaining unqualified as we go to press) while the rest of us were left only to wonder what the f**k the bird was doing on the pitch in the first place. Just desserts, if you ask me.

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