Russell Howard riled Claude Makelele with nickname blunder before Joleon Lescott ‘dropped one on him’ in Game4Ukraine training
Russell Howard will be swapping the mic stand for the football pitch this weekend as he takes part in Game4Ukraine.
The comedian got amongst it in training and quickly learnt the true quality of two of the Premier League’s ex-stars.
Game4Ukraine is a charity match that will raise funds to help rebuild a school in Ukraine that was destroyed by Russian missiles.
It will be played at Chelsea’s home of Stamford Bridge, with a number of celebrities taking to the pitch with stars of the past and present.
Blues star Mykhailo Mudryk is set to feature as well as fellow Ukrainian international and Arsenal defender Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Joining Howard on Team Shevchenko, led by the former Ukraine international Andriy, is Chelsea legend Claude Makelele, but the duo may not have got off to the best of starts.
Speaking on talkSPORT Drive alongside actor Mark Strong, he revealed what it’s like to play against ex-footballers: “Do you know, the weirdest thing is calling for the ball, you don’t know whether to call them by their surname.
“So Makelele had the ball and I was going, ‘Claude?’ I don’t know, do I go ‘Claude’, do I go ‘Makelele’, so I called him ‘Makka’, and he looked at me as if to go, ‘That’s not my name.’
“But you sort of just get caught up in that moment, we were just saying, you have one half-decent touch and you feel OK.
“Then all your confidence drains and then you kind of get a decent touch again, but you spent the majority of the game just watching [Robert] Pires glide around.”
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One of his opposition defenders on Saturday for Team Zinchenko is the former Manchester City centre-back Joleon Lescott.
His defensive efforts helped him win two Premier League titles and Howard got a taste of the quality he could be up against.
“Lescott dropped one on me as well, I really felt it, we’re getting smacked,” he added.
Luckily for Howard, he may be able to utilise his sense of humour and distract his opponents if his football skills aren’t up to scratch.
You can listen to Game4Ukraine, a charity match raising money to rebuild a school that was recently destroyed by Russian missile attacks, live and exclusively on talkSPORT.