Messi and co to quit... smoking
When we first heard that Barca had a new signing we rushed on-line to see who it might be. Rooney? Ronaldo? Tevez? McShane? It turned out to be the European Commission.
Some of the football played by Barcelona could definitely be described as smoking but the EC want Barca's help to help get everyone to kick the habit.
When JOE heard that the European Commission and Barcelona have teamed up to help combat smoking we thought one thing... football smoker based puns. A quick search on-line and we knew we were in trouble!
Yes, those guys and girls in Brussels aren't just concerning themselves with imposing 15th century austerity measures to the continent, they also want to encourage those who like a smoke to quit (there must be money in it).
According to the European Commission, ‘Quit Smoking with Barça’ will harness the success of the European Commission’s ‘Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable’ campaign and the support of Barça’s millions of fans to help 28 million European smokers kick the habit forever'. Nice pun at the end there, you see, they even have a sense of humour.
Quit Smoking with Barça’ offers supporters of Barça, football and sport in general a personalised health training programme with daily quit smoking tips and encouragement direct from the hearts and mouths of the club itself. If you've ever tried to kick the old woodbines yourself you'll know that all help is more than appreciated.
The campaign will be powered by iCoach. For those not in the know, iCoach is a free, proven digital health tool and is available from today as an app for both for iPhone and Android.
Given the rigours of the modern game, it's a rare thing to see a professional player actually puffing on the sin sticks but a quick search for smoking footballers will yield a lot of results.
Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Fabien Barthez, Dimitar Berbatov and even the iconic Zinedine Zidane have all been caught red or brownie-yellow handed in recent years, but to be fair to Berbatov, if you had spent all that time sitting around doing nothing over the last few years like he has you’re bound to pick up a few bad habits.
Word of warning: Make sure you’re on your own if you’re entering the phrase ‘smoking footballers’ into Google; that’s how rumours start!
Following Everton’s heart-warming remembrance of the Hillsborough victims at Goodison Park last night and Barca's quit smoking campaign today it's been a good week for football, reminding us that they’re not all a bunch of overpaid brats and that some players actually care about other things than roasting models!
Have a gander at the campaigns pretty cool Barca video here...
While on the subject of quitting smoking, check out legendary Irish comedian Dave Allen's thoughts on the matter…