If you’re aged between 10 and 40, have a passing interest in football and have at one point in your life owned a computer or phone, chances are you have played Football Manager, or its predecessor Championship Manager.
It’s got pretty complex of late, with most of us having to put in hours and hours of work in if we want to get properly good at the game.
One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that is the in-game editor.
Some people used it to make sure that mid-season signing was in the ‘right’ squad when they started the game.
Others did it to insert themselves into the game’s database, or to build a dream team without the effort (hey, it beats running the game on autopilot for 1,000 years).
But none have used it to inflict 17th Century ailments on 21st Century players. Until now.
I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone do that.
The answer, as ever, is ‘because it’s really, really funny’.
Medicine has advanced enough over the last few centuries that a multi-millionaire footballer contracting the plague is preposterous.
Sorry, did we say preposterous? We meant hilarious.
‘Panini Cheapskates’, a Twitter account dedicated to drawing bad replicas of footballers on Panini Stickers (look, it’s easier to just accept it exists than it is to try explaining the process – think of it like teaching your nan about how computers work), has shared a selection of ‘injury’ edits.
Sure, we didn’t think we *needed* the image of Wayne Rooney contracting scurvy after ‘many months at sea’, but it turns out we were wrong.
Oh, you thought that was all of it, did you?
Not even close.
Cristiano Ronaldo has looked after himself well over the course of his career, rarely sustaining an injury that keeps him out of action for more than a game or two.
But what if…
Ronaldo might generally stay out of trouble, but the same can’t be said for Jonjo Shelvey.
In fact, would anyone even be that surprised if he suffered the exact same injury in 2017?
That’s what we thought.
We’ve been promised a player being struck down by consumption next. Presumably that will be followed by the Premier League’s finest missing out on the title run-in following an outbreak of smallpox.
But the most surprising thing in all of this? Probably the idea that a man laid low with musket wounds could still be at 71% of his peak physical condition.
(Main image: Twitter/Icons)