Effin' unbelievable

Luciano Becchio x Georginio Rutter? Release the tapes!

Written by: Rob Conlon
Photograph by: Lee Brown
Georginio Rutter putting his big coat on at the end of Leeds' win over Huddersfield, grinning like he's the player of the match

Feeling far too wired to sleep after Leeds’ win at Leicester on Friday night, there was only one way to celebrate: sit at home nursing the solitary bottle of lager I could find in my fridge and scrolling through social media, enjoying the collective ‘get the fuck in’ from players, fans, and former heroes. Who says rock and roll is dead?

There was a lot to love. Ethan Ampadu squealing at the camera in delight, surprising himself as much as Jaidon Anthony. Illan Meslier’s smooth baritone smile of quiet satisfaction. A Leicester fan crying, “You’re all nonces,” at an away end that has just ruined his night, the go-to football insult so lacking in imagination that anyone who shouts it should — ironically enough — be banned from raising children.

It was a hell of a night, even before I opened Instagram, mindlessly scrolled through a few stories, then stopped in equal parts shock and joy at something posted by a certain Luciano Héctor Becchio:

Georginio Rutter hugging Luciano Becchio with all the warmth of a puppy greeting their owner when they get home from work raises so many questions, and I’m not sure it’s fair for Leeds to leave the answers to our imaginations.

Mainly, why is Georginio so happy to meet Becchio? No disrespect to Becchio — I adore that golden prince — but Rutter could have been excused for not knowing who he is. It has been a decade since Becchio played for Leeds, and I’m guessing Victor Orta’s presentation to new signings didn’t sell the club on the League One years or Neil Fucking Warnock swapping one of our best goalscorers for Steve Fucking Morison.

And what were they even laughing and joking about? A clip posted by the club shows Georginio briefly larking around with Bill Ayling in front of Becchio and Jermaine Beckford, but when isn’t Bill larking around? What happened when Bill left the strikers to talk about striker things? Maybe Becchio was telling Georginio about the time he scored a wonder-volley at Boro and described it live on Sky as “fucking unbelievable”. If Rutter’s post-match interview at Leicester went on for any longer, we could have had a repeat once he stopped talking about how happy he is:

“I am happy, I am happy for the team, for the club, for my teammates, so I’m happy. And well done to Glen [Kamara], he did a good job. We are happy and for the confidence it’s very good.

“I am very happy because they are amazing fans. I am happy and it’s not only me. They sing for everybody so I’m happy.”

Ross McCormack once said of his strike partner that he could forgive all Becchio’s awkward play outside the penalty area, “because if the ball goes in the box you know that he is going to be there.” The reverse applies to Georginio — sure, he could have scored a couple more goals this season if his finishing was slicker, but who the hell cares when he’s rinsing defenders and creating chances for teammates so regularly when he gets on the ball outside the box? No wonder his hug with Becchio looks like two sides of a yin and yang symbol completing each other.

I want to see more of Becchio and Georginio hanging out together. If Leeds has more footage, they need to release the tapes. If not, then it’s over to you, Netflix, Amazon, whoever. Forget Shaun Harvey slithering his way around Wrexham. Forget Mikel Arteta pretending he’s not a robot with lego hair at Arsenal. A day in the life of Luciano Becchio and Georginio Rutter is the fly-on-the-wall football documentary the world needs. ⬢

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