Echoes of Ali Dia as Champions League club almost duped by player with fake CV and accolades

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You’ve got to admire the front of some people, and question the thoroughness of football club staff at times.

Back in the 1990s, Southampton famously gave a debut to Ali Dia, supposedly ‘George Weah’s cousin,’ though it was immediately clear that the south coast club had been duped.

Given how much more technologically advanced the world has become since then, there’s no reason for any more fakers to slip through the net, however, Champions League outfit, CSKA Sofia, almost landed themselves with Ali Dia mark II.

According to the Daily Star, Gregoire Akcelrod, whose own father had apparently stopped him playing football at 10 years of age because he was so bad, had signed a contract with CSKA after they’d been duped by his own website in which he claimed that he starred for Paris Saint-Germain.

In reality, he had failed trials at Swindon Town, Norwich City and Bournemouth, and actually played for PSG’s fifth-tier amateur side.

A lucky break via a chat on a supporter forum ensured that Akcelrod was outed before he’d had a chance to add to his Walter Mitty existence.

However, it shows the lengths that some players will go to in order to realise a dream.

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