Animals | Circus is in town

Jean-Marie Pfaff (photo from, in his heyday as a goalkeeper for Belgium and Bayern Munich in the 1970s and ’80s, built a popular following.

Now 54, he is the centerpiece of long-running Belgian reality TV show De Pfaffs. Pfaff’s affinity for performance will further be tested as part of the upcoming Antwerp Winter Circus.

As an update to our earlier report on dogs and football (20 Jul 06), Pfaff will be tending the nets during a four-on-four exhibition—Belgium vs. Netherlands—featuring boxer dogs trained by a Romanian artist. “A circus is something that takes me back to the heyday of my youth,” said Pfaff, who formed his first football team as a child, including himself and his 10 brothers. “Now I will be the artist myself.”

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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