Football can be a thing of beauty but, Christ, for anyone who watched Newcastle and Cardiff’s goalless draw on Saturday, faith in that statement will surely now be faltering.
Not just because the day’s early game dragged on and on and resulted in fans enduring a bore-draw with essentially nothing positive to remark upon, but also because of the performance on show by a certain Robert Kenedy Nunes Nascimento, or just ‘Kenedy’ to you and I.
The Brazilian churned out a display that was laughable beyond parody and held himself up to the world as one of football’s greatest laughing stocks.
His kicking out at Victor Camarasa was missed by referee Craig Pawson, who would have spared the fella future embarrassment had he sent him off there and then. Sadly, Kenedy remained on the pitch and managed to recreate a feat not achieved since 2010: he failed to complete a single pass for the entirety of the game’s first half. That’s right, like a socially awkward teen at a popular kids’ party, he failed to make a pass for an entire 45 minutes.
To top things all off, however, Kenedy squandered his one chance at redemption by striking a last-ditch penalty softly for Neil Etheridge to deal with, the ‘keeper hardly believing his luck in the 95th minute.
All in all, the 22-year-old couldn’t have performed any poorer. Or could he? We’ve taken a look back over the years to try and find some solitude for the young, reeling winger. Here are five others who managed, somehow, to perform worse than you, Kenny. Take solace, things could be worse.
5) Nicolas Cage
We’ll be honest, we were initially looking at specific examples for our list but with this Californian mega-star, it’s hard to pick out individual moments. You choose for us, there’s a whole bundle of shockingly poor performances in this chap’s repertoire. Among many others, we’ve got Face/Off, Con Air and, most of all, The Wicker Man 2006 remake.
Cage has outdone himself putting in a shift to make us cringe, laugh and recoil with stiff, unimaginative performances throughout the years. Somehow, however, the fella has become a multi-millionaire household name. Perhaps, if he keeps up the act, Kenedy might just make it as well.
4) Eoghan Quigg
You’ll remember this gem should you have been one of the many avid followers watching the X Factor back in its golden year, back when it was cool, 2008: the high-point of TV brilliance.
Eoghan finished third that year and was tipped to storm to success after signing a big-money contract with the label RCA Records. He released a much anticipated album shortly after – mind-blowingly entitled ‘Eoghan Quigg’ – and was swiftly dropped by his company. The one single he actually released in the ‘Eoghan Quigg’ album is called ‘28,000 Friends’, and, well, it needs listening to far and wide.
3) Diana Ross
Another singer and yet more music, you may sigh – though we’ll question your labelling of Eoghan Quigg and ‘Eoghan Quigg’ as a singer and as music.
Diana Ross, however, is not on this list for her vocal talents. To criticise Miss Ross would truly be My Mistake and so we’ll stay clear of that for now. Instead, the iconic Supreme is here for a footballing underperformance to rival even Kenedy’s.
Though it’s debatable as to which spot-kick was worse, her penalty to open the 1994 USA World Cup was undoubtedly missed on a bigger stage and to greater embarrassment. Blazing the ball wide against an oversized, exploding goal, Ross didn’t, somehow, miss a beat in her song and continued to merrily chirp ‘I’m Coming Out’ despite her evident failings on the pitch.
We doubt the Newcastle player could do likewise.
2) Guy Goma, an absolute hero
Perhaps we’ve muddled up our categories here because this, as a performance, is as good as it gets. When Guy Goma went to an interview for an IT role at the BBC, the last place he expected to find himself was slap bang in front of a rolling camera and news anchor, answering questions in place of Guy Kewney – a journalist who knows his stuff on the music industry.
Shocked but suddenly posed with a series of questions on very subject-specific issues, Goma did his best to muddle through the interview and hide his confusion. Alas, while hilarious and endearing, Goma didn’t do the best job of it.
1) Your 16-year-old self
Don’t lie to yourself, champ, it was a laughable performance.