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2006 TDF winner Oscar Pereiro makes football debut

Retired Spanish pro cyclist seeks to establish second career, but Barca won't be on the phone just yet...

It’s not unknown for retired footballers to take on the route of the Tour de France – cancer survivor and former Crystal Palace and England player Geoff Thomas did so for charity – but a former Tour de France champion seeking to switch sports and establish himself in what Pelé once called “the beautiful game,” as Oscar Pereiro is seeking to do, is unprecedented.

This weekend, Pereiro, who won the 2006 Tour de France by default after Floyd Landis was stripped of his title, took his first tentative steps towards forging a career in a second sport by making his debut as a second-half substitute for the reserve team of Galician side Coruxo, which he signed for last week.

"I was quite nervous because I felt being watched. But I think I made no mistake," commented Pereiro, who has now retired from cycling, riding his final season this year with Astana after four years with Caisse d’Epargne.

If those watching him included scouts from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, their reports back to the Bernabeu and Camp Nou are unlikely to be glowing, given the remarks made by Coruxo coach Jesus Camino.

"He is not an outstanding footballer but he contributed in a positive way to his team's game," stated Camino after the team’s 1-0 defeat, as reported on Fox Sports Australia.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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