How Mickey Mouse inspired Kone’s trademark & tattoo
It’s the hand gesture that has become synonymous with Western United FC recruit Panagiotis Kone throughout his football career.
And the Greek international has revealed where his trademark originated from as a-league.com.au dug up some of his old Instagram photos.
“When I was young every day I would watch Mickey Mouse,” Kone explained.
“I used to do every time this [hand gesture]. I also have the tattoo here.
“It’s something I was doing from when I was a child.”
Kone also spoke about his relationship with fellow Western United FC import Alessandro Diamanti, who he regards as ‘his best friend in soccer’.
“In football you don’t make too many friends, I’m honoured that I have played with him in Bologna and in Brescia in Italy,” Kone said.
“I love him, I like him and I’m happy that we are here in Melbourne.
“I was the first transfer [to Western United FC] and Lou Sticca, he asked me about Alino…I didn’t speak to well about him, only kidding,” he added with a laugh.
“They [the club] called him, he called me, it’s very simple.”
As well as Kone, a-league.com.au also caught up with Chris Ikonomidis (Perth Glory), Alex Rufer (Wellington Phoenix), Riley McGree (Adelaide United), Mitch Duke (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Roy O’Donovan (Brisbane Roar).
We forced all of these players to relive some of their past Instagram gaffes – and here’s how it went down.
“I wouldn’t have put a yellow T-shirt on – that’s for sure.”
Alex Rufer’s reflection of this photo of him and his twin brother Lee from when they were just five years old will raise a few eyebrows among Phoenix fans.
“This is my twin brother Lee, this is on a beach in Auckland,” Rufer said.
“We are five years old here, we’ve kind of gone for the matching kit.”
When asked if his parents had dressed the two of them on that day, Rufer clarified he would have never gone for the look himself.
“They must have, because I wouldn’t have put a yellow T-shirt on – that’s for sure.”
I wonder how Rufer feels pulling on the Phoenix kit week in, week out?
“There’s no excuse for that... I don’t have an explanation.”
Chris Ikonomidis’ rise as an Aussie starlet making waves in Europe coincided with some pretty contentious Instagram uploads, specifically shirtless ones.
Cue embarrassment as Ikonomidis was forced to look back on these images and describe his decision-making to the fans.
“I was 17 and, I don’t know, there’s no excuse for that... I don’t have an explanation.
“Everyone, that Chris is gone, he’s dead, he’s away, he’s done that stuff and he’s out now.”
O’Donovan’s stitch-up of former teammate Champness
When Roy O’Donovan reflected on an upload from his time at the Jets, he didn’t hesitate in ripping former teammate Joey Champness - currently in Los Angeles pursuing dreams of becoming a rap artist – to shreds.
“This is at Gosford It think after scoring a couple of goals against Central Coast,” O’Donovan said.
“Alongside me is Dimitri Petratos who is well known to A-League fans, and Joey Champness who is not very well known to all L.A rappers right now.”
You can expect an O’Donovan diss-track on Champness’ debut album.
“Be one with the ball, show a bit of love to the ball”
Riley McGree shouldn’t bank on a modelling career after his playing days are over.
Take this photo from his days at Danish side Club Brugge as a prime example.
“This one was set up, I didn’t pose like this I was told to pose like this,” McGree said.
“This was when I was at Club Brugge, it was good memories and great learning curve to see where I was at and what I needed to do to make the step back over to Europe hopefully one day.
“They told me to be one with the ball, and show a bit of love to the ball, and that was my attempt at doing so.”
“Yes, I do have balls”
Mitch Duke felt he had some explaining to do after a viral photo circulated of him doing the splits in a goal celebration last season.
“The boys were kind of egging me on, they were like ‘you’re really flexible, do you do yoga?’
“I said next goal I score I’m doing the splits, it went crazy and viral and now everyone wants me to make it my trademark, so we’ll see what happens.”
But the reaction to Duke’s athletic celebration raised some unexpected questions which the Wanderers captain felt obliged to clarify to those wondering.
“I wanted to make that clear... yes, I do have balls,” Duke said.
“There are some between my legs, so that question mark doesn’t need to be asked anymore.”