Former Liverpool player Florent Sinama-Pongolle has recalled the hilarious effort Mohamed Sissoko made to retrieve the Frenchman’s stolen 2005 Champions League winner’s medal.
Sinama-Pongolle was one of the few unfortunate Liverpool players who had their Champions League medals stolen. While the forward, who scored in a Champions League group-stage match against Olympiacos, is heartbroken about the incident, he has an amusing memory of the unfortunate night. Speaking to Ladbrokes (via Liverpool Echo), the 37-year-old revealed how his teammate “Momo” Sissoko plotted to intercept the thieves and failed miserably at it.
“My Champions League medal, along with my miniature replica trophy – given to me by UEFA – was stolen one day while I was on international duty. It was taken from my flat by a gang from Liverpool who targeted five or six of us who were all away with our national team at the time. I mean, what are you going to do with that medal after you’ve stolen it? I don’t know. You can’t do anything with it.”
“There’s a funny story attached to mine being taken, though. I’m a positive person and I really believe you’ve got to try and see the funny side in moments like this. I left the keys to my flat with Momo (Mohamed) Sissoko, who was living in the same building as me. This is a real story, I promise.”
He further said:
“Momo and one of my other friends were collecting some DVDs from my flat – I had this big collection which came over from France – you know when you could only play certain DVDs in certain regions? Well Momo and one of my other friends were heading to my flat to pick out something to watch and they saw that my front door was open.”
The former Liverpool forward then went on to reveal how teammate Sissoko reacted to the situation and how hilarious his strategy was.
The Frenchman added:
“When they pushed the door further open, they’re facing the guys that were robbing my flat! So Momo is scrambling around looking for something to protect himself with before heading towards these guys… but they start running away.”
“And I swear to God, this happened… They sprint out of my flat, and because I was on the top floor, they had to run down all of these flights of stairs. Momo, behind them and chasing after them, he calls the lift!”
He went on to say:
“Oh my God… when my other friend told me this, I could not stop laughing. Could you imagine this? So Momo Sissoko, a Premier League footballer, sees some guys in my flat and, while they’re running out the door and down the stairs, he’s waiting for the lift doors to open?! Of course they were long gone by the time Momo got down to the ground floor.”
Sinama-Pongolle admitted that he could not believe how it went down, claiming that he still found it hilarious.
The former Atletico Madrid man concluded by saying:
“Look, it’s not a nice story at first, when you hear that something like this has happened to you, then above everything else I was just happy that my friends didn’t get injured. But then they told me this story and I was just laughing so much. Obviously these guys are long gone by the time he finally gets out of the lift – my God, it’s a true story which still makes me laugh when I think about it now.”
Sinama-Pongoll played only 55 minutes of Champions League football in the 2004-05 campaign. He was not in the squad for any of the knockout fixtures but diligently cheered for his team from the stands.
Liverpool hero Jerzy Dudek also had his Champions League medal stolen
Jerzy Dudek was one of the heroes of Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League final triumph over AC Milan, saving two penalties in the shootout. Unfortunately, the goalkeeper was a victim of a similar robbery (via IOL) to that of Sinama-Pongolle.
Dudek’s house was robbed in June 2006 while he was away on a holiday. Alongside his Champions League winner’s medal, the perpetrators also stole the jersey he wore in the final, over 100 goalkeeping jerseys, and more. The Liverpool legend’s £65,000 Porsche Carrera was also stolen.