90min

The Craziest Moments of Éver Banega’s Career

Ross Jackson
Éver Banega's Europa League final appearance was his last for Sevilla
Éver Banega's Europa League final appearance was his last for Sevilla / Pool/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

As in any walk of life, a footballer’s profession is strewn with highs, lows, triumphs and disappointments. However, if it was ever possible to summarise a player’s entire career in just 90 minutes – Éver Banega has achieved it.

The Argentinian produced a mesmeric display against Inter to see Sevilla crowned Europa League champions for the sixth time in just 14 years.

However, not content with notching yet another piece of European silverware in his final game before departing for Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab, the enigmatic midfielder clearly felt it his duty to remind Sevilla fans of the lunatic they were set to wave goodbye to, engaging in a verbal tussle with Antonio Conte in which he taunted the Italian with cries of ‘let’s see if that wig is real’.

Conte is brandished a yellow car for his part in the argument with Banega
Conte is brandished a yellow car for his part in the argument with Banega / Lars Baron/Getty Images

Come on now, Éver – you can pick at a man’s dress sense, his personality, but do not under any circumstances question the hairline of a man in his 50s...

Banega has spent over a decade drifting from one scandal to the next as easily as he’s spent it drifting past opposition players, and in fairness to the little magician they’re all pretty funny.

So, as European football bids a fond farewell to the misdemeanour-prone Argentina international, let’s not cry over the brilliant player we’ve lost, but instead laugh about all the really stupid stuff he’s done, with our list of the craziest moments of his career.


1. Trashing Team Hotel

Banega at the Under-20 2007 World Cup in Canada
Banega at the Under-20 2007 World Cup in Canada / Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

Having won the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, the future of the Argentinian national team looked promising with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria beginning to flourish.

In fact, it all looked a little too good. Step forward Mr Banega.

The 19-year-old took it upon himself to tarnish the country's triumph, completely trashing his Toronto hotel room as celebrations began to spill over, though at least him and his accomplices weren't stupid enough to film themselves in the act... no, sorry that's wrong. They did film themselves, of course they did.


2. Flouting Lockdown Rules So He Could Have a Party

Ok so he was just a naive teenager when he smashed up the hotel room, he's much wiser and more level-headed these days, right?

Wrong.

The Sevilla man was pictured breaking lockdown rules earlier this year as he decided to host a little gathering of 12 people - including teammates Luuk de Jong, Lucas Ocampos and Franco Vasquez - with the group seemingly indulging in paella and alcohol.


3. X-Rated Video

Banega's unveiling as a Valencia player in 2008
Banega's unveiling as a Valencia player in 2008 / AFP/Getty Images

Having sealed a move from Boca Juniors to La Liga giants Valencia in 2008, Banega's career was on an upward trajectory and the misdemeanours of his past looked to be put to bed.

That was until an X-rated sex tape of himself was released on the day he was unveiled to the Mestalla faithful, of course.

We won't go into too much detail, but let's just say he was enjoying some quality alone time.

As for who released the video, the culprit still remains anonymous. But in fairness, we've already ticked off himself and his wife on this list, it could well have been the dog for all we know.


4. Beer for Dinner?

Banega celebrates with the Europa League trophy
Banega celebrates with the Europa League trophy / Lars Baron/Getty Images

The Argentinian is no stranger to celebrations having won numerous pieces of silverware throughout his 14-year senior career, and it seems he's always got a cold beer waiting to be popped should cause for a toast arise.

During a TV appearance early on in his career, the midfielder's fridge made its on-screen debut and contained absolutely nothing but beer.

No vegetables, no milk, nothing but beer.

A professional athlete with the shopping list of a university student whose parents have just given them £20. You've got to admire the man.


5. Beer for Dinner, Again?

Banega during his time with Valencia
Banega during his time with Valencia / Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

It's possible that the aforementioned beers (though very unlikely given they won't have resided in his fridge for too long) were the catalyst for our next funny story.

Prior to Valencia's 2012 clash with Barcelona, Pep Guardiola was quoted as saying his side "would have to really concentrate to limit Banega's effectiveness".

Lofty praise indeed, though Guardiola probably wouldn't have spent so much time trying to nullify the threat of the Argentinian had he known what the midfield man was up to in training.

Just days before the big clash, Banega failed to turn up to practice, and with the rest of the squad searching high and low for their star man, he suddenly stumbled into the training complex - blind drunk.

Needless to say he didn't produce a stellar performance against Barça. Stellar. Like the beer. Get it? Never mind.


6. Running Over HIMSELF

Banega was no stranger to injuries
Banega was no stranger to injuries / JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

Alright, the others are brilliant but this will take some beating.

Banega has been no stranger to injury setbacks throughout his career, though one in particular would probably be placed in the 'avoidable' category.

Having returned from a knee injury during his time at Valencia, the midfielder pulled up on a petrol station forecourt and forgot to put his handbrake on.

As the car began to roll, Banega's leg became trapped under the wheel of the car, with the club doctor later announcing the incident had left him with "a trauma to his left leg that caused a fracture to his tibia and the perone bones".

The injury would see the Valencia man sidelined for six months.


7. ‘I Can Wear This Real Madrid Shirt, Right?’

Banega's time with Valencia was littered with off-field issues
Banega's time with Valencia was littered with off-field issues / Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

In 2011 Banega decided to take it upon himself to anger the majority of the Valencia fan base, as pictures began to circulate of him wearing a Real Madrid shirt.

And it's not even as though the pictures were taken by a stranger, as the photo appeared to show Banega posing alongside two of his relatives.

It's genuinely like he just blows himself up if he's not done anything ridiculous for a few months.


8. Goodbye Ferrari

The picture says it all really.

2012 really wasn't Banega's year when it came to cars. Having run over himself in February, the Argentinian's brand new Ferrari was charred to a crisp later in the year due to a 'short circuit' error.

Whether it genuinely was a fault with car or whether Banega was entertaining a Spanish fire-breather in the passenger's seat we'll never quite know.

Either way, it's difficult to believe he's faultless when absolutely anything goes wrong in his life.


facebooktwitterreddit