Unconventional Friendly Football Matches Throughout History

Football, also known as soccer, is not just a game of numbers and beautiful plays; it’s a sport that evokes strong emotions and often surprises us with extraordinary events. Below, we delve into some of the most peculiar friendly matches of all time, each with its own unique story.


Dallas Tornado vs. Vietnam (1967)

In the midst of the Vietnam War, the Dallas Tornado decided to embark on a journey to Saigon for two friendly matches against Vietnam. In an atmosphere far from friendly, the Texan team showed up wearing cowboy hats.


Oxford City vs. West Ham (1994)

This is a charming tale. West Ham, under the management of Harry Redknapp, went to play a friendly match against Oxford City. A fan from the stands continued to insult Redknapp and the Hammers. Redknapp offered him a uniform and sent him onto the field. It actually happened. And the fan even scored the fourth goal in a 4-0 victory.


Barnet vs. Arsenal (2004)

The friendly between Barnet and Arsenal is a summer classic. So, immediately after Arsenal’s unbeaten season, Barnet took the lead. Historic indeed. The match ended 10-1 in favor of Arsenal.


Plymouth Argyle vs. Real Madrid (2006)

Fabio Capello had just arrived at Real Madrid and decided to conduct the preseason phase in Austria. Choosing the hotel, they encountered a problem: Plymouth Argyle was already staying at that hotel. The solution? Of course, a friendly match, won 1-0 by Real after the stoic resistance of the British team.


Bournemouth vs. Real Madrid (2013)

To celebrate their promotion to the Premier League, Bournemouth invited Real Madrid for a friendly, almost as a joke, being sure they wouldn’t accept. But the Los Blancos did accept and won 6-0.


Club Brugge vs. Otelul Galati (2013)

This match was supposed to be played at Stainton Park, home of Radcliffe Borough, where both teams were staying. But the field was in terrible condition, so the teams moved to a field near a golf course. The strange thing here is that there were dozens of golf carts on the hill to enjoy the match.


FC Gherdeina vs. Leeds United (2014)

A little bit of Italy in this ranking. Massimo Cellino, who had just bought Leeds, sent the English team to play a friendly in Italy. The result: 16-0 for Leeds. Quite a beneficial match.


Lyon vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (2014)

A match that entered history for one reason: after the game, six Shakhtar players refused to return to Ukraine because the crisis with Russia was at its peak. A sad reality.


Stockport County Reserves vs. Burnley (2015)

A match that was supposed to be played but never happened. The reason? Possible violence threats between ultras. For a match between a reserve team and a Non-League team. What a strange place England can be.



Friendly matches in football often provide unexpected stories and moments that linger in the memory of fans. These strange encounters not only entertain but also highlight the diverse nature of the sport, showing that football is more than just a game played on the pitch.