Busted! Liverpool's Wijnaldum catches man tweeting about him on flight
Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was in the right place at the right time to "bust" a fellow passenger who had spotted him aboard a plane.
Wijnaldum shared a short Instagram story in which he secretly rumbled the man as he tweeted about being "99% sure" that the Dutch footballer was sat on the row behind him.
"99% sure Georginio Wijnaldum is on my flight"— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 25 January 2019
Gini catching someone tweeting about him 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/t1FTv5kFg5
Sure enough, the corresponding tweet was soon published with the author completely unaware than his handiwork had already gone viral.
I'm 99% sure Georginio Wijnaldum is on my EasyJet flight. Am I going to embarrass myself by saying Feyenoord with an awkward thumbs up on the way out? Almost certainly.— Official TNS hatred account (@Ben_Dudley010) 25 January 2019
Unperturbed, poster @Ben_Dudley010 soon realised that thanks to Wijnaldum's interjection, at least nobody could doubt the veracity of his claim.
At least nobody can @_DHOTYA me for this— Official TNS hatred account (@Ben_Dudley010) 25 January 2019
That's the thing with social media: somebody is always watching.
Still, there was a happy ending, as Wijnaldum met up with his not-so-undercover surveyor in the arrivals hall after landing.
Oooooh football friends pic.twitter.com/DvyEgqBPvw— Official TNS hatred account (@Ben_Dudley010) January 25, 2019
"He's basically my best mate now, probably get invited to the title parade," Dudley tweeted. "About to catch the train to Bangor. If Van Dijk is in the same carriage I'm saying nothing.
"My Twitter career is finished after this."
This isn't the first time a sports star has shared their own bit of counter-snooping on social media. In 2014, Maria Sharapova posted a picture of a fellow passenger reading a newspaper article about her, unaware that he was sat right in front of the multiple Grand Slam champion.
Hey buddy, I'm right behind you... :) pic.twitter.com/deVaMfetzr— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) September 25, 2014
It's all reminiscent of British comedian Stuart Lee's classic barb: "I hate Twitter. It's like a state surveillance agency run by gullible volunteers. A Stasi for the Angry Birds generation."
Perhaps the wording is a little strong, but we take his point.