There was much speculation at England skipper Steven Gerrard's startling appearance at yesterday's Costa Rica prematch press conference. Pale, dark circles under his eyes, and staring into the middle-distance, he said he was “hurting bad, broken and a bit of a pain in the neck.”
However, after inspecting a post-match photograph from last week's clash with Uruguay, a leading specialist in rare blood diseases believes he has an explanation for Gerrard's haunted demeanour.
"Mr Gerrard is now a creature of the night." says University of Transylvania haematologist, Professor Vladimir Alucard. "I believe he has been bitten by a rare, extremely venomous South American creature and is lost to the world of mortals, condemned to eternally roam the dark night of the soul: TV studio punditry."
Steven Gerrard was 34.