Football Eventually caught out
It’s every footballer’s dream, whether you’re a professional or an amateur, to star on the big stage. Some dedicate their lives to strict training regimes, with few ever making the grade. However, others go down other routes to reach stardom, and most of the time, don’t succeed.
Gregoire Akcelrod was one of the latter, who almost managed to play in the Champions League with CSKA Sofia, but was found out because of his fake CV and comments made by fans when he signed for the club.
It had always been Akcelrod‘s dream to become a footballer, but his ability, in the words of his father, was “very poor”. This didn’t deter him, though, and he managed to break in to the Paris Saint Germain amateur team in the fifth division.
The Frenchman then set out on making a future for himself based on lies. He created a false website that described him as one of his team’s best players, supported by match reports which spoke about Nicolas Anelka, in which he swapped the ex-Real Madrid and Arsenal star’s name for his own.
He had trials at Swindon Town, Norwich City and Bournemouth but it was CSKA Sofia who contacted him about signing in 2009 with the objective of strengthening their squad ahead of their Champions League campaign.
Akcelrod spoke to British newspaper The Daily Mail about how his move to CSKA was scuppered after he was outed by fans of his ex-side PSG.
“I did the two-day trial and on the Sunday the coach told my agent that he wanted to sign me,” he said.
“But it was the PSG fans who destroyed me. Overnight, one CSKA Sofia fan contacted a PSG online forum and asked, ‘We are about to sign Greg Akcelrod, what do you think about him?’.
“All the PSG fans didn’t know me. They said I was fake, they checked my website. But some of it was true, the video at Swindon for example”.
His time as a “professional” was limited to a few minutes in friendlies with Swindon, as well as two goals – one in a pre-season game witb Bournemouth and another for Norwich reserves.
Akcelrod is now an agent and is trying to help young academy players make it in the game.