Battle of the Buffet, Messi’s favorite and Pep’s ban – Football’s historic past with pizza

Pizza and football have a long love-hate relationship.

From food fights to players simply piling on too many pounds from indulging in the treat, pizza has a dubious reputation in the game.

With the season winding down, however, and no major summer tournaments for the game’s top stars to focus on, now is the perfect time to indulge.

And the final day of the Premier League this season just so happens to fall on Bitcoin Pizza Day, giving the stars double reason to celebrate with the dish.

But what is Bitcoin Pizza Day?

Quite simply, it marks the birthday of Bitcoin miner Laszlo Hanyecz who successfully completed his quest to buy two large pizzas for 10,000 BTC.

It all started on May 18, 2010, when he posted on a forum that he intended to buy the meal using cryptocurrency. Four days later, student Jeremy Sturdivant followed suit.

At the time, the 10,000 bitcoins he traded were worth around $41, but if he had cashed out when bitcoin peaked, they would have been worth around $690 million, or around 46 million large pizzas.

This was a watershed moment for cryptocurrency, as it was the first real-world transaction in which it was used.

buffet battle

Buffet Battle - Manchester United vs Arsenal

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While pizza is forever associated with this positive outcome in the crypto world, perhaps its most famous involvement in modern football history is far more infamous.

In 2004, Manchester United and Arsenal were the dominant forces in the Premier League and often engaged in heated clashes. The most famous of these came that year in October at Old Trafford as Arsenal’s famous 49-game unbeaten record came to an end thanks to a Wayne Rooney brace.

After the game there was a fight in the tunnel and legendary United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was hit by a pizza thrown by Cesc Fabregas. Pizzagate was born.

Leicester’s Pizza Night

But the humble pizza isn’t just associated with that dubious incident at Old Trafford.

Indeed, he became a symbol of Leicester City’s freewheeling success in the 2015-16 season, when manager Claudio Ranieri promised to buy his side a pizza if they could keep a clean sheet against Stoke after a 3-2 win over Watford.

In a campaign full of legendary stories and anecdotes, the Foxes of course managed to shut out the Potters and the manager kept his word. Dilly ding, dilly dong!

Messi’s favorite food

Chefs in the kitchen with Messi shirt

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One player who loves pizza is one of the greatest players in the game, Lionel Messi. The PSG star is known to love the dish and often had it as a post-match meal to replace the calories lost during a tough game. His favorite variety is, apparently, the margherita.

Pep says no to pizza

How Messi’s love of pizza waned with Pep Guardiola at Barcelona is unclear.

What is known, however, is that the Manchester City boss doesn’t like the dish as much as his former striker.

When he moved to City in 2016, Guardiola banned his players from eating pizza in their post-match meals in a bid to ameliorate the club’s injury problems.

When City won the 2020-21 Premier League title, however, he revealed the team all threw a pizza party.

It would certainly be appropriate for Guardiola’s side to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day again on Sunday accordingly if they retain the top-flight English crown.

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