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Masal Bugduv

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Either you're fooling or you've been fooled Sheeds...


Several media outlets were left red-faced after tipping Moldovan international Masal Bugduv as football's next big thing only for it to emerge that the player does not exist - a web of blog postings had created the player out of nothing.
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Guest efctaxi

Masal Bugduv – the 16-year-old Moldovan prodigy who doesn't exist .


The bizarre story of how a non-existent Moldovan striker became one of the world's 50 hottest young footballing talents



If you had to compile a list of the world's 50 hottest young footballing talents, who would be in it? You would probably start with a couple of members of Arsenal's Carling Cup team, that Argentinian striker who was linked with Chelsea in the summer and the youth team prospect who's scored twice in 18 substitute appearances for your local league club. Four down, 46 to go.


Pick someone from the Brazil Under-23 team, throw in the reigning Concacaf Young Player of the Year and peruse the German goalscoring charts until you find someone still in his teens. Phone that bloke you know who watches reserve matches and do a Google search for "the new Zidane". Now what?


There is, in short, a good chance that you'd get a bit desperate. And so it was that a journalist from The Times included, quite accidentally, a totally fictitious footballer at No30 in their own list of fledgling superstars. He's not on it any more, of course, though the evidence is there if you search, but this is what they wrote:


30. Masal Bugduv (Olimpia Balti)


Moldova's finest, the 16-year-old attacker has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, work permit permitting. And he's been linked with plenty of other top clubs as well


The problem was the identity of those who had been doing the linking. Their story started unravelling when the website theoffside.com alerted readers to the list, and a blogger posted a message suggesting that Bugduv didn't exist at all. On his own blog the author, known as Makki, had already detailed, in Russian, his failure to find any evidence of the player on any Moldovan website, including that of his supposed club. Searches in English had found stories apparently written by the Associated Press (although not in a style regular AP readers would recognise) linking the "midfielder" with Arsenal and Zenit St Petersburg and boasting about international appearances that simply never happened.


Fredorrarci, a contributor to soccerlens.com, took up the hunt and unravelled a web of blog postings, apparently from different people, that had combined to create a player out of nothing. Most of them had appeared last summer, when Wikipedia's entry on the Moldovan national side had been altered to include a prominent mention of Bugduv. The Wikipedia user who had added it was called Masalbugduv. His true identity, and those of his potential co-conspirators, remains a mystery, as does his motivation.


But the Times was not alone in being duped by the story of a young, obscure prodigy. It turns out Bugduv had already been mentioned in dispatches by When Saturday Comes and on goal.com.


But there is genuine talent lurking in that part of the world. We asked our Eastern European football expert, Jonathan Wilson, to suggest an up-and-coming player from the region who might have made the Times's list and actually exists. He instantly came up with Danijel Aleksic, a 17-year-old Serb forward playing for unfashionable Vojvodina. You heard it here first.

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It's a double bluff. All this talk of him not existing has been started by Wenger, who wants no other club to sign him.



thats like when i saw roy o'donavon of sunderland playing for cork city... he was class for them but half the sunderland fans prob dont even know who he is...it will be the same with the moldoven league its a shit league, with a dencent player.....if he's real

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