You may not have heard of footballer Bernio Verhagen but his story is crazy.
We say footballer. He’s probably not really…according to reports. Verhagen has reportedly fooled four clubs into signing him despite not actually being a professional player. But it seems as though his mischief is finally catching up with him, for the latest club to sign him – Danish team Viborg FF – are ready to take legal action.
Viborg have admitted to signing 25-year-old Dutchman Verhagen to a professional contract before even seeing him play football. But after watching Verhagen in his first training session, in which he didn’t look anything like a professional footballer, they began to grow suspicious.
Verhagen was pulled from the session and Viborg have since filed a criminal complaint alleging fraud, document forgery and identity theft. “There is a clear picture of a large scam that is likely to involve more people in several countries,” Viborg said in a statement.
Verhagen claimed to have played for Moldovan club FC Dinamo-Auto, South African team Cape Town City and Chilean side Audax Italiano before joining Viborg. However these claims have since been denied.
Igor Dobrovolsky, the head coach of Dinamo-Auto, said they had never heard of Verhagen. Cape Town City owner John Comitis said he was never signed by the club. “He was never registered or has played for Cape Town City. He was going to, but we discovered that something was not right, so we pulled out of giving him an official contract,” Comitis told Reuters.
However, Verhagen posted a picture wearing the club’s kits earlier this year. And his player page on Transfermarkt includes reference to all four of Verhagen’s former clubs. Viborg’s criminal complaint against Verhagen’s agents aren’t the only matters facing the ‘player’.
A local prosecutor revealed that he has been arrested due to suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend, robbery and threatening witnesses. Verhagen denied those charges but didn’t comment on the fraud accusations. What a crazy story.
Photo Credit: Getty