Sky Sports 5 launch: Bizarre painting of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard coincides with yet another channel on Sky

Channel dedicated to European football kicks off tonight

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The Independent Football

You may or may not be aware that Sky Sports are about to launch a new channel - Sky Sports 5.

It will be "the new home of European football on Sky" - although why any of Sky Sports 1-4 could not have been used for the job (as they have been before today) is not altogether clear. Something about BT Sport stealing away Champions League rights from next season may have something to do with it, although that wasn't in the press release.

So the seventh dedicated sports channel in Sky's stable (they also have Sky Sports News and Sky Sports F1) will be officially unveiled tonight at 6pm ahead of the Uefa Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla in Cardiff.

But you probably knew that anyway - Sky Sports' publicity has been as abundant as it's been daft.

It started with an oddly muted David Beckham featuring in an advert at the Sky Sports 'research centre'. After testing out a few poor ideas to improve the subscription service's footage, the former England captain finds that "the simplest idea is also the best" - a new channel.


Since then, things have got weirder.


Today five portraits by renowned art forger John Myatt were released. Steven Gerrard, Andres Iniesta, Andrea Pirlo, Arjen Robben and Cristiano Ronaldo have been painted in the style of painters from their homeland, from Vincent van Gogh to Pablo Picasso. The results (below) are ridiculous.

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Andrés Iniesta in the style of Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Dora Maar

Sky Sports 5_European Greats_Individual Robben.jpg
Arjen Robben in the style of Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait

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Cristiano Ronaldo in the style of Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro’s Portrait of Professor Antero de Quental

Sky Sports 5_European Greats_Individual Pirlo.jpg
Andrea Pirlo in the style of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

Sky Sports 5_European Greats_Individual Gerrard.jpg
Steven Gerrard in the style of Joshua Reynolds’ Portrait of General John Burgoyne



As if that wasn't enough to make sports fans well aware of the new channel, just to make sure, Sky Sports have inflated a football to 65 times the size of a normal one and will roll it out for tonight's match at the Cardiff City Stadium. That viewers will have to be watching Sky Sports 5 to see it was perhaps not considered to be important.