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FIFA Week On Balls: My Greatest (Drunken) FIFA Moment

Donny Mahoney
By Donny Mahoney
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With the launch of FIFA12 on September 30, We here at Balls.ie are teaming with EA Sports to promote the launch of the world's pre-eminent footballing video game. We'll be discussing some of the innovative features of the game in the coming days, but for now I'd like to discuss my greatest FIFA moment. It happened when I was quite drunk.


In the summer of 2004, I found myself living in Lahinch. I turned up in the town when I saw a job at the Lahinch Hostel advertised in the Clare Champion. I was hired and then fired three weeks later, over voice mail while I was sitting on the toilet. C'est la vie. I was hired to work as a dishwasher in a local greasy spoon that same day. The chefs all moonlighted as musicians in Lahinch's pubs. I settled in well amongst them and soon found myself living in their laundry room for 15euro a week.

When we weren't working or drinking, we played FIFA. I'd played video games a bit as a teenager, but was never too bothered. But that virtual football team became our cause in life during rainy afternoons and hungover Sundays. We built up an incredible team as Celtic (though we somehow imported loads of Man Utd players) over the summer and slayed all in our path. I can still remember my greatest game like it was yesterday. Myself and my two roommates had been at the pub and two Flemish ladies they knew came back to the house for more drink. Rudely, I guess, I started playing FIFA. We were playing AC Milan in the European League final. It was nil-all late in the match when Fabien Barthez got himself sent off with a completely rash tackle and gave away a penalty in the process. I was too inebriated to consider subbing in a new keeper. Teddy Sheringham took his place between the posts. There was an anxious moment as Inzhagi stood over the ball. Would he go left? Right? Down the middle? I can still see it through blurry, drunken vision. Inzhagi went left and Sheringham read it perfectly. He made the save and pushed the ball out of play. We cleared the ensuing corner, went down the pitch and scored the winner. We were champions.

I moved out of Lahinch a few weeks later and never played a video game again. I count this FIFA moment as my greatest sporting achievement.



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