Were Braga's Boots Stolen Before Marseille Match?
We know it's not "breaking news" anymore, but we still think it's appropriate to clear up the ridiculous story of Braga's missing boots ahead of last week's UEFA Europa League clash against Olympique Marseille.
Marseille won Thursday's game 1-0 against Braga to close the gap to the previously unbeaten squad to three points, but it was the boot story that caught the attention of the media worldwide. So let's reflect the story of Braga's allegedely stolen cleats.
Retrospective Analysis - Braga's Missing Boots
Braga's Boots got missing ahead of last week's Europa League clash.
According to the Portuguese side, the boots were taken from the dressing room after training at the Stade Velodrome on Wednesday. Strangely enough, there was no sign of a break-in according to Braga's president Antonio Salvador Rodrigues.
"I find that incredible," 20 Minutes quoted him as saying. "No door was forced open so how did the boots go missing?"
To help Braga and to allow the game to take place, Marseille offered to charter a plane to Portugal so that more of the player's footwear could be brought to France. In the end, Marseille brought Braga 46 standard pairs of boots.
We all know how important their own boots are for players, and not only but also therefore Braga's coach Fonseca told L'Equipe: "I thought I'd seen everything in football but that disrupted our preparation. It's astonishing because there are cameras and security guards to guarantee security."
Braga even asked for the match to be postponed and wanted to make a complaint to UEFA. However, in the end police and the Marseille security found the missing boots - in Braga's hotel.
Although Braga's boot story ultimately had a happy ending, it was not a great trip to France for the Portuguese side as they lost their first match of the 2015-16 Europa League campaign. And what exactly happened to Braga's boots that night will probably remain a mystery.