THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Day 13 of the WSC advent calendar and we're focussing on Santa. Not quite the rotund, red-clad, jolly fellow who brings presents and sells fizzy pop; instead the football-playing squirrel of Andorra's UE Santa Coloma, as featured in our Weekly Howl on August 12, 2011.

Badge of the week ~ UE Santa Coloma, Andorra
It is possible to make a squirrel appear aggressive, or at least defensive, but the creature is largely ignored by those attempting to create an image of strength and power. One exception is the Swiss animated squirrel, Phou-Phou, who is friends with a Japanese attack dog and has strong views on European border controls. Santa Coloma have opted to depict on their club crest the legend of the Squirrel Gatekeeper. The story goes that there was an ancient tower in the mountains of Andorra that housed the most comely woman in the world. Many gallant knights journeyed hundreds of miles, braving almost impassable terrain and ambush by robber barons, just to get one glimpse of this fabled beauty. When, one by one, the knights encountered a squirrel with a football who was working as live-in security for the empty building while he "got his act together", their embarrassment was such that, instead of exploding the myth, they elaborated on it. Santa Coloma clearly wanted to associate themselves with a perky little outsider, able to embarrass more illustrious visitors. And with a left foot like that, he could probably walk into the current England team. Cameron Carter

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