CaughtOffside was at the Reebok press event at the Westminster Boating Base in London today as the sportswear giant unveiled Andriy Shevchenko as the newest face of Reebok’s rejuvenated football division (joining Thierry Henry), and got a chance to talk to the star himself.
After some initial grilling from Football Focus’ Manish Bhasin there was an opportunity for open Q and A with the press. For some reason, most of the representatives from the various red tops and Sunday papers in attendance chose to ask the Chelsea star questions that everyone already had answers to, “What’s Chelsea like?”, “Was it nice to score yesterday?”, “How do you like the London weather?” “Is Abramovich your best mate?” blah blah blah.
Instead, we saw this as an opportunity to clear up one of the longest running football legends – that Harry Redknapp took a young Shevchenko on trial at West Ham but deemed the poor boy not good enough,
“I got a call from an Eastern European contact who said he wanted to send over a couple of young players” said Redknapp.
“This young boy called Andriy Shevchenko turned up eventually and he trained with us for a week. I’d put him up in some digs in the East End. I played him against Barnet reserves and he scored the winner but to be honest he didn’t look like anything special at all.”
So when we got our chance at the mic to get the truth from the horse’s (that would be Shevchenko’s) mouth, what was the answer?
WELL WELL WELL…looks like either Andriy is covering up the shame of being rejected by West Ham or Harry Redknapp is a dirty, attention-seeking liar. And we know which our money is on.