Bergisch Gladbach, 29 June 2006, Paffrather Street Stadium: Robinho Rolls

June 30, 2006 | By Stuart Franklin | Creative

During the World Cup in 1998, a sports equipment manufacturer asked the rather strange question to several of the sponsored players: “Do you kiss football?” The players replied: “Yes of course!”

Well, today I saw players not only kissing football but also eating football and balancing a football on their necks and noses! Occasionally, some would even kick the ball. The players seemed to treat the football like their best friend. Maybe coach Parreira had read the book by the legendary great Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough, who would tell his players: ”Here’s the ball, it’s your friend, now go and play with it!”

Judging by the amount of fun and laughter I saw today, there are a lot of good friends out there. Robinho was back to his hilarious self and there was no one more pleased to see him than his partner in fun, Roberto Carlos. This pair, in the company of Cincinho, I am sure would have carried on playing till it was dark and then asked for the floodlights to be put on!

Stuart Franklin Getty Images 8.jpg

Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

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  • Dave


    I have been following your excellent shots on this site from the onset of the tournament. I am a Mancunian stockphotographer based in Germany and have applied for media accreditation for the U-20 Women’s tournament in Russia this summer..I appreciate how busy you are but would be more than pleased to hear what would be your priority advice for shooting the tournament in Moscow in August. Either here or at my email address;
    I would be particularly keen on hearing what is your preferred list of kit and lenses..

    All the best. Dave

  • Marco Togni

    I hope that Stuart will write a comment here and not a comment in your private e-mail address, so everybody will able to read what Stuart will say. :-)