Official player unveilings are always fun to watch. You get to see the new signing in his new shirt, as he then shows of his skills with the ball. Though, it must be said, a mere picture of the player in his new colours does the trick, videos of it just seem strange. I mean, a video of a player posing for pictures is quite boring.
In Spain, unveilings are often spectacular events, especially when it comes to Real Madrid & Barcelona. For certain players, it’s almost like a concert. It’s all a bit, weird. Elsewhere it’s just the one club photographer taking the image and distributing it to other media outlets; the entire press and fan base isn’t called for the ‘event’.
Thomas Vermaelen was the latest Barca acquisition unveiled by the club after completing his move from Arsenal. The usual things flowed with the Belgian standing for pictures in the most cliche poses including the classic ‘one knee down, hand on ball’ thing, doing a few juggles to please the (small) crowd. But then, it all turned spectacular again. Thomas Vermaelen was given a car by his new club! Or atleast it seemed like he was. It may have just been a marketing gimmick as Audi are secondary sponsors of Barcelona, but the video does suggest that it’s Vermaelen’s to keep.
Just as he’s done with giving some poses for the cameramen queued up, he walks over to the side and indeed, there is an Audi Car Salesman waiting for him! Have I told you, I find Spanish player unveilings weird? It’s with good reason. That salesman looked like he came right from the 1980s.
He shakes hands with him, they go over a few things and to everyone’s amazement (atleast mine!), he hands him the key to the car.
It does certainly seem like Thomas Vermaelen has been given a car by the club upon signing. It’s quite extraordinary; usually players are just given a new shirt but the Belgian’s got himself an Audi.
He poses for a few more images (with his new car) and the salesman goes over a few things again when all of a sudden Vermaelen reacts to something he says. Could it be that it was just a marketing ploy? Is the poor defender not getting a car? No Audi for Vermaelen :'(? Maybe he just found out that he was having the car shipped to his home using an auto moving company similar to Cars Relo (click here).
Having done a brief search, still unclear if this is Vermaelen’s to keep but my point about Spanish player unveilings being quite weird, stands. That Audi salesman looks like he came right out of the 1980s. Here’s the full video: