Football Funnies: Awkward British players overseas edition, starring Ashley Cole & Gareth Bale

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (left) and Roma's Ashley Cole. -- PHOTOS: REUTERS
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (left) and Roma's Ashley Cole. -- PHOTOS: REUTERS

The football is back, and naturally the circus surrounding top-level competition comes with more than its fair share of the ridiculous.

As the build-up to the English Premier League (EPL) season rumbles on, making news out of absolutely nothing, we look at a couple of former EPL players who are finding life overseas slightly awkward.

First up is Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who seems to be caught here between wanting to laugh or not.

Are they making fun of me? I don't really get the joke, should I be laughing anyway? What should I do with my hands? Someone tell me what to do with my hands!

These are all sentiments we are familiar with, so it's heartening to see that trifles like global fame, ludicrous amounts of money and a supernatural ability to kick a ball where you want it, don't change anything.

Next up is Arsenal legend (cough) Ashley Cole, who left London to seek fame and fortune in Rome. Living in Italy, as former Liverpool striker Ian Rush is famously said to have claimed, is like living in a foreign country, so maybe Cole hasn't quite got the hang of it yet. 

He must think they do pictures differently there, which explains the yawning chasm between him, over there in Siberia on the left, and the rest of his teammates. Seriously, you could fit Marina Bay Sands in between them.

And while the Internet stepped in to do what it does best - make mildly amusing things briefly funnier, before running it into the ground - the best take on "Awkward Ashley" must surely be that of Francesco Totti, his teammate at Roma.