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Magic crystals ask to see hard evidence of Ronaldo's 'talisman' credentials

Rings, stones and charms with magical powers have asked for some documentary evidence to support football commentators' constant claims that particular players are the undoubted talismans of their teams.

The news comes after a proliferation of so-called talismans at the 2022 World Cup, with concerns that any fertility-enhancing or personal protective powers of the mysterious objects are being watered down by their constant association with earthly characters such as Ronaldo or Gareth Bale.

'Ronaldo is a decent player and all, and his stepover is certainly something that can generate momentary awe and admiration', said Mike McBride, a 300-year-old amulet sniffily. 'But can he fend off evil, and repel snakes and scorpions by merely existing? I think not'.

'Lionel Messi and Kevin de Bruyne may be able to bring a dull game to life with a moment of deft skill and raise the performance levels of those around them on the pitch through an almost osmosis-like process', continued McBride.

'But as far as we're aware none of them any accredited courses to progress through our professional standards framework and reach approved talisman status. They're cowboys, pure and simple'.

In other news, footballers said to be 'putting in a shift' at the World Cup will be expected to submit detailed timesheets to back up any claims that have been made about their prodigious effort and application on the pitch.

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