By Chris Wright
Spot the difference
We could forgive even the most militant member of the Toon army for not remembering Daniel Cordone’s largely featureless stint on Tyneside, but the former Newcastle striker caused a wave of controversy in Brazil over the weekend after impersonating ex-Argentina legend Claudio Caniggia in a charity veterans game.
Despite his appearance being heavily advertised beforehand, Caniggia was forced to pull out of the match between Argentina’s old boys and their Brazilian counterparts on Sunday – with the similarly lank-haired Cordone stepping in as the former Rangers forward’s body double, unbeknownst to the 10,000-strong crowd in Fortaleza.
According to reports, the big screens at the Arena das Dunas clearly displayed Caniggia’s name in the Argentinian line-up, only for the paying crowd to quickly cotton on to the fact that something wasn’t quite kosher about the fellow playing in the No.7 shirt – the main sticking point apparently being Cordone’s distinctive tattoo sleeve.
With the crowd beginning to realise the jiggery pokery that was afoot, a sheepish Cordone reportedly jogged straight past reporters and made a hasty retreat to the dressing rooms immediately after the final whistle, though – initially at least – the match promoters were adamant that it was the real, gen-u-wine Caniggia out there on the pitch.
André de Paula, of match promoter Phoenix Sports, told reporters: “This is the Caniggia, the real Caniggia. There is no other Caniggia.”
However, according to The Guardian’s follow-up report, some of the Argentinian players – possibly Ariel Ortega – later came clean and admitted that Caniggia had missed his flight before the game, with Cordone stepping in as his double.
For the record, the game finished 3-3 with consumer rights officials in Natal not immediately available to comment.
No real surprises there!