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Exclusive: IRAIW reveals footballers' letters to Santa!

Sunday 24th December 2017

Footballers are no different than fans when it comes to the holidays. No matter their religious persuasion, they get caught up in the festivities. They’re excited and filled with good spirit, except maybe Dani Carvajal. Most can’t wait to give and receive gifts. Some are still children at heart, who go so far as to write letters to Santa. That is why It’s Round and It’s White sent one of our intrepid investigative journalists to the North Pole.

Cecil was the obvious choice. At just 4’8”, with a wispy frame, pale complexion, rosy cheeks, and pointy little ears, he was almost exactly what was required to infiltrate Kris Kringle’s elvish workforce. Armed with a vial of compressed helium to disguise his natural baritone, we stuffed him in a mail bag marked for the North Pole. His mission: intercept some of the most interesting letters from footballers to jolly old Saint Nick.

Before his helium supply ran out and he was turned over to the abominable snowmen (who only roughed him up a little), Cecil was able to transmit some very interesting requests. Here are a few:


Querido Papa Noel,

As I’m sure you know, I’ve been a very good boy again this year. I’ve made a special effort to work with the less fortunate, and always make time for the fans, too.

Usually, I wouldn’t ask for anything in return, as goodness is its own reward. This year, however, I could really use a goal or two. I know Christmas isn’t until the Monday, but Manchester United is at the King Power on Saturday evening prior. I have a good record scoring there. Do you think you could let me find the twine for the lads?

As always, I’ll leave some Dona Jimenas and a double espresso on the mantlepiece.


Juan Mata

Dear Santa,

I don’t know if I’ve made your nice list, this year. Probably not. It’s tough when you’re a centre half, you know? Being naughty is in the job description. I’m doing my best, though, as I’m sure you know.

Anyway, we’re playing United on the day before Christmas Eve. They’ve been having everything their way when they play us of late. Especially that slippery little Juan Mata. I’m not sure why you give them so much love when that Mourinho feller is so ill-mannered, but I was hoping maybe you’d let me sneak in at the back post for one this time out. Defenders need a little joy ‘round the holidays too.

Thanks, mate.


Harry Maguire

Querido Papa Noel,

All the dogs say hello. Their tails are wagging mightily at the thought of seeing you on Christmas Eve. Please bring chew toys for all.

For me, I am not sure I can ask much. Sometimes my temper gets the better of me, this I know. Maybe I am on your naughty list? It is no more than I deserve.

All I would ask, however, is please let me leave Arsenal. It doesn’t have to be for Manchester City. Chelsea would be fine. Or even Real Madrid. I understand you are busy, so whatever you can manage.


Alexis Sanchez

Caro Babbo Natale,

Hello. I feel very uncomfortable doing this. Usually, I can handle such matters on my own. Still, my daughter Vittoria said I should ask you for help. So.

Things are going very badly for me in England this year. I don’t understand. Everything was so easy last season. Maybe I was too rash in trying to get rid of Diego Costa? He was so, how do you say, trying? Yes, trying. Always he was causing arguments. I really thought we would do better without him. At Juventus, there was always someone else available when I let a player go.

Also, I maybe shouldn’t have sold Nemanja. I just thought he was getting a little old and slow. Still, we can only learn from our mistakes, eh?

If I promise to behave better, do you think you could bring me a few results in 2018. Really, I will try.

Cordiali saluti,

Antonio Conte

Querido Papai Noel,

Ola. I don’t know why I decided to write you. Certainly, I’ve not been a good boy. I’m never a good boy. Everybody knows that. I have had so much time on my hands, though, that I am going louco. You know, crazy. Do you think you could help?

I’m not allowed to play until the New Year. I don’t expect you to change that, but could you maybe speed time up a little. I think you can do that, no? How else do you get to all the children in one night? Maybe after everyone’s opened their gifts and had time to appreciate them, you could turn up the clock again. Just for a few days.


Diego Costa

Querido Papai Noel,

It has been a very good year for me. So, first I wish to say obrigado. Everything here at Besiktas has been wonderful. You have sent me some very nice friends. Alvaro Negredo, Jeremain Lens, Gary Medel, and Pepe are all good lads. We’ve enjoyed our run in the Champions League, too.

To be honest, that is why I am writing you. We have drawn Bayern Munich in the round of 16, and everyone is telling me Jupp Heynkes is one of your elves. Is this true? I hope it is not. It would be most unfair to us if he has you on his side. All I am asking is for you to just let us play. That is all.

Oh, and thank you for all the tattoos.


Ricardo Quaresma

Querido Papa Noel,

Por favor, s’il vous plait, please, please, please! I will do anything you ask. Just let us go to Kyiv this year.

Mucho gracias,

Unai Emery

Dear Santa,

I hope this reaches you before it is too late. I’m afraid time is quickly running out for me here in Wales. If you can, would you kindly slip a little patience in the Swansea board’s stockings this Christmas Eve? Good man.

Desperately yours,

Paul Clement

Martin Palazzotto

The former editor of World Football Columns, Martin authored the short story collection strange bOUnce. He appeared in several other blogs which no longer exist. Old, he likes to bring out defunct. If outdated sport and pop-cultural references intrude on his meanderings for It's Round and It's White, don't be alarmed. He's harmless.

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