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Kyle Lafferty plays the joker for series of TV stunts

By Nevin Farrell

Northern Ireland hero Kyle Lafferty has shown that football really is a funny old game.

The big striker has been in fine form, helping the team qualify in spectacular style for the European Championships to be held in France next year.

Last night they finished top of Group F after a 1-1 draw against Finland in Helsinki. Lafferty (28) has rebranded himself a football funnyman in recent days with a series of japes involving Sky Sports' Northern Ireland reporter Paul Gilmour.

It all started after Thursday night's famous 3-1 win over Greece to secure a place at their first Euro finals, when Lafferty and team-mate Chris Baird turned up for an on-pitch interview with Gilmour while clutching bottles of Budweiser. The reporter ended up with a soaking as he bravely stuck to the task of delivering his piece to camera.

In a later interview involving Gilmour, Lafferty keeps a deadpan face as he tells how he would like to draw either Argentina or Brazil in the Euros.

The big Fermanagh man was asked who he wanted to meet in France, and struggled to keep a straight face as he answered.

"I think everybody's happy just to be there," he said before he added: "For me, if we get Argentina that would be unbelievable. We've played against Portugal and Ronaldo, so to play against Argentina and the chance to play against Messi would be unbelievable.

"Or even Brazil. Neymar would be good to come up against. I'd like to test myself against Neymar, I'm not too sure how many goals he's scored in this campaign. It would be interesting.

"But obviously, it doesn't matter who we get, we'll go out and try and beat anyone. But for me, it's Argentina or Brazil. We've never played against them so I'd like to get the opportunity now, in France."

Gilmour's shoes then came in for attention as Lafferty rolled along the ground to point at the reporter's feet and ask "what are those?" Gilmour hit back by tweeting a picture on Sunday of Lafferty's footwear, when he said: "What are those? Says the guy with white socks & flip flops."

The Sky Sports Twitter feed later lamented: "It's been hard work getting a serious interview out of 0 players this week after their historical achievement!"

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