Nuno Silva, a 29-year-old Portuguese footballer, has become the latest viral sensation on Spanish social media… but not due to his goal-scoring abilities.
The promising striker wore a t-shirt of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco while being presented as the latest signing of Spanish club Real Jaén on Wednesday (July 29).
The club and Silva have issued an apology but the Franco fiasco was quickly the number one “trending topic” on Spanish Twitter, with many tweets calling for the club to sack its new acquisition straight away.
“I want to apologise to all those who have felt offended or who have been shocked (by my shirt). Never have I tried to defend or support the ideologies professed by this person nor do I have any political preferences,” Silva has since written.
The Portuguese footballer who last year played for Azorean club Santa Clara and had a brief stint in Algarve club Olhanense in 2012/13, said he bought the shirt “a long time ago in Portugal and never knew the impact this historical figure has to part of Spanish society”.
“I lived in Portugal and Angola and I don’t know the bulk of Spanish history, so was completely unaware of the significance of wearing that shirt in your country,” he added.
For now, Silva’s job at the club seems secure but he will have to score a lot of goals before fans forget the Franco faux-pas.