Gerard Pique denies claiming Liverpool are ‘embarrassing’ Fernando Torres
Quotes run in Sunday Sport were apparently made up
Were you browsing any other sites apart from this yesterday (traitor), you might have come across awfully dodgy story run in the Sunday Star, which appeared to have exclusive quotes from Barcelona’s Gerard Pique on how ‘embarrassing’ it was for Fernando Torres to be playing Europa League football.
The quotes were quite obviously made up (not least because no-one calls Torres ‘Nando’ apart from Liverpool fans, the British media and ‘The Internet’) and yesterday Pique denied ever even having the conversation.
James Goyder over at the Bleacher Report has compiled a list of similarly suspect Star reports written by journalist Ben Fairthorne, including Iker Casillas cheerleading for Joe Hart, Lionel Messi wading in on the Mascherano transfer saga and Mesut Ozil pledging allegiance to Man Utd.
Each story is conspicuous by the fact that a) the quotes go on forever, and b) they’re all so candid – two traits not particularly common to the modern footballer (see today’s Kenwyne Jones interview in the Mail, in which the striker spends most of the conversation alternating between surfing the internet and playing with his phone.)
After some internet snooping from Goyder and the Twitter mob, Fairthorne’s name disappeared from the Star’s pages last week, only to be replaced by a ‘David Hyde’, who, rather handily, appears to be getting exactly the same style of scoops; including the Pique story.
Fabricating quotes is obviously not a new phenomenon, but in the Internet-age, where readers can play detective from the comfort of their sofas, it’s surprising national newspapers are still trying to get away with it.
Find out more here.