‘Fake’ Claudio Caniggia shows up for Masters game

Close enough? Claudio Caniggia, top, and Daniel Cordone. Pictures: TSPL and PA
Close enough? Claudio Caniggia, top, and Daniel Cordone. Pictures: TSPL and PA
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FUNNY old game, isn’t it? Argentina took on Brazil in a Masters friendly over the weekend, with former internationals including Adilio and Oscar Ruggeri going head-to-head in Natal.

One of the biggest names, and one that will resonate with Scottish football fans, was that of Claudio Caniggia, listed as wearing number seven for Argentina.

Except it wasn’t the former Dundee and Rangers striker.

It was Daniel Cordone, formerly of Vélez Sarsfield and Newcastle United - and once named among the Daily Mail’s top 50 worst strikers to have played in the Premier League - wearing a hairband.

Journalists at the match first noticed something wasn’t quite right thanks to Cordone’s tattoo sleeve on his right arm - while sporting tattoos, Caniggia does not have an armful of them - and his reluctance to speak to the press after the match.

Cordone headed straight for the changing rooms without talking to journalists after the final whistle.

Organisers insisted that it was the real Caniggia, with André de Paula, of promoter Phoenix Sports, adding: “This is the Caniggia, the real Caniggia. There is no other Caniggia.”

Argentina’s coaches echoed de Paula’s claims, before coming clean and admitting that it was Cordone and not Caniggia wearing number seven.

One fan, named as Stephano Barbosa, told local media that he was so angry at the ‘fake’ Caniggia that he left the stadium before the end of the match.

Another supporter, Arnóbio Medeiros, added: “I am very disappointed. I am an admirer of Argentine football and I wanted to see the match, and get autographs.”

Caniggia won 50 caps for Argentina during his playing days; Cordone won none.

• The match finished 3-3, with Esteban Fuertes and Ruggeri (2) on the scoresheet for Argentina. Petkovic, Beto and Souza netted for Brazil.