Phil Foden picks up a rather odd looking trophy following his display in the Carabao Cup final | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
Imagine if you will; you’ve just produced a masterclass to knock Premier League opposition out of the Carabao Cup, a performance which included a back-heeled nutmeg before curling a sumptuous effort into the bottom corner – it doesn’t get much better than that.
You’re inevitably called over to receive your Man of the Match award, so you pick up the gong and take the awkward photos before bashfully heading down the tunnel. ‘What, this as well? You want me to hold up a copy of Crash Bandicoot to make this cringefest even more toe-curling? Erm…alright’.
Saïd Benrahma was given a copy of Crash Bandicoot for his Man of the Match performance the other night.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) October 3, 2020
Poor Saïd Benrahma. The Brentford ace did his best to smile through gritted teeth as he was picked up the Man of the Match award following his sumptuous display against Fulham, before being handed the weirdest award we’ve ever seen. Well, we say ‘ever’…
We’ve compiled a list of the most random awards in football and ranked them from weird to WEIRD. So, sit back and prepare to see some very awkward ‘smiles’.
ABSA Man of the Match: @GeorgeMaluleka #Amakhosi4Life #George12 pic.twitter.com/CPyM9N9oyg
— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) April 16, 2014
Imagine trying to pay contactless with that as you accidentally knock out the person behind the till trying to lift onto the counter.
It’s unclear why South African based bank ABSA decided to award a gigantic credit card to the poor souls who would go on to be named the Man of the Match in the country’s top tier.
It looks more like something you’d find in the aisles on Supermarket Sweep than an actual award – one for the daytime TV watchers there.
Weird Rating: 2/10
I knew this country was rubbish when we gave a man of the match 5GB of data pic.twitter.com/Wfvd3rm5qJ
— Trev (@Tokyo_Trev) January 6, 2018
Still in South Africa and this time it’s domestic cup action.
Telecoms provider Telkom are the sponsors, so maybe there’ll be a couple of new phones in it for the lucky winner? Nope, just some data. 5GB of data to be precise.
I mean, Mamelodi Sundowns player Hlompho Kekana looks as bemused as the poor fella handing him the ‘award’. Oh well, at least he’s got plenty of data so he can go on Twitter and be constantly reminded of one of the most awkward pictures in footballing history.
Weird Rating: 3/10
Meanwhile, out in Zimbabwe, professional footballers are getting 24 beers as a Man of the Match prize… ?? pic.twitter.com/nLwmUk9p58
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) May 24, 2017
I’m sorry but give me this over a rubbish little statue any day of the week. It’s just a bit weird.
The look of pride on the face of the woman handing over the beers is quite something, as the unsuspecting benefactor does his best not to laugh.
In the ever evolving world of sport the novelty bottle of champagne has long been replaced, but Zimbabwe are sticking to their guns. 24 bottles of your finest lager, just what every professional athlete wants.
Weird Rating: 4/10
Aberdeen’s Stephen Glass wins a bike for being man of the match at the 1995 League Cup Final. pic.twitter.com/jTMdCAzrs7
— PictureThis Scotland (@74frankfurt) June 18, 2017
Slightly closer to home now and Aberdeen midfielder Stephen Glass’ expression tells you just about everything you need to know.
The man has just produced a brilliant performance to see his team crowned Scottish League Cup champions, if there’s one time you can hand a footballer a bottle of bubbly it’s now.
But no, a Coca Cola themed bicycle that looks about as sturdy as Jack Wilshere’s knees. Go and have a victory ride around the block. Lucky fella.
Weird Rating: 5/10
A team called Dreams FC in the Ghanaian Premier League give out pairs of sliders to man of the match players.
Nice to see that First Digital TV money isn’t going to waste. pic.twitter.com/t7NPBFWAar
— Man of the Match Awards. (@MOTMAwards) September 1, 2020
In fairness after playing 90 minutes of football your feet are in absolute agony, but flip flops?
This lucky recipient looks exactly how you’d imagine someone would look after signing for a club called ‘Dreams FC’, producing a Man of the Match display and being handed a sexy little pair of Sports Direct specials for your efforts.
Weird Rating: 6/10
BURGER KING ARMANI. pic.twitter.com/ZiHacsOlYS
— NFLPARATODOS (@NFLPARATODOS) March 15, 2018
Now you’re talking!
Argentina international Franco Armani was handed this glorious Burger King Kid’s Club crown for his performance in goal for River Plate. No content with him holding the crown, TV producers insisted he wore it for his post-match interview.
A quick reminder that this man has shared a football pitch with Lionel Messi. Look at him.
Weird Rating: 7/10
Big fan of Górnik Zabrze awarding their man of the match with a live chicken to take home.
We love the Polish Ekstraklasa?? pic.twitter.com/Xx6rJQkPgc
— Man of the Match Awards. (@MOTMAwards) September 21, 2020
Not just a chicken, a live chicken.
To be fair to Piotr Krawczyk he’s doing a fantastic job of pretending it’s not the weirdest thing he’s ever been handed in his life, with the universal thumbs up sign indicating he’s both delighted and absolutely terrified in equal measure.
If you’re ever entrusted with choosing a Man of the Match award, best to steer clear of live poultry.
Weird Rating: 8/10
Martin Ødegaard receiving a fish for being player of the month at Real Sociedad.
Not sure why but there you go. pic.twitter.com/tj3KgEh5jG
— Man of the Match Awards. (@MOTMAwards) August 24, 2020
Last but not least, the weirdest ever award in football.
What do you get the man who was reported to be earning £80,000-a-week at the age of just 16? A fish, obviously.
Martin Ødegaard was handed this ‘award’ having been named Real Sociedad’s Player of the Month, and hats off to the youngster he looks to be genuinely delighted.
Is it random? Yes. Is it funny? Yes. Is it the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen awarded to a footballer? Absolutely.
Weird Rating: 9/10