Imagine it’s May 5, 2012 and Tranmere Rovers — after making an illustrious run — are about to face Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. While Rovers enter the Wembley pitch in their traditional blue and white kit, their counterparts enter the field sporting the famous red and white threads of North London. You have a team of world-class footballers against a lower league side.
Tranmere get lucky early when the Gunners hit the post and create quite a few half-chances, though Tranmere’s good fortune runs out when Robin van Persie scores. The match is hard fought, with Arsenal enjoying heavy possession, while Rovers defend, occasionally breaking out into forceful thrusts forward, dreaming of scoring the equalizer. However, Arsene Wenger’s troops hold on to clinch their first trophy in six years.
The Tranmere side was resilient and their run in the “Magic Cup” had come to a disappointing end – from their point of view. Regretfully, the Merseyside squad drag themselves up the Wembley steps to receive their runners-up medals. In deep thought on the pitch, while Arsenal collect their prizes, Tranmere captain John Welsh is approached by Robin van Persie. With RVP’s teammates impatiently waiting to get their hands on the oldest prize in the sport, the Arsenal captain has convinced Welsh to come up with him. While the TV cameras are focusing on Theo Walcott and Gervinho embracing, van Persie walks into the frame with Welsh. Once handed the trophy, van Persie makes the Tranmere captain grab the other end of the draped silverware, and the two skippers lift the cup as one.
It sounds to good to be true, but it’s exactly what happened Saturday in France when US Quevilly, of the nation’s third-tier, were ousted by powerhouse Lyon in the 2012 Coupe de France Final. During the proceedings of the trophy presentation, Lyon’s Brazilian back named Chris brought Quevilly’s center-back Gregory Beaugrad to the winner’s podium. Chris’ decision to co-lift the cup with the Frenchman must be a contender for the classiest moment in the history of sport.
But would van Persie or the captain of another “Sky Six” team do the same, as in the fictional tale above? Was Chris’ decision even appropriate? After all, his opponent had just lost the match of his life. Had you been Quevilly’s captain, would you have accepted the offer? Chime in readers!