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Russian comedian’s pitch invasion at World Cup final goes viral on YouTube

Published time: July 14, 2014 11:12
Edited time: July 14, 2014 15:57
Stewards carry a supporter off the pitch during the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014.(Reuters / Leonhard Foeger)

Stewards carry a supporter off the pitch during the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014.(Reuters / Leonhard Foeger)

A Russian prankster stunned social media across the globe on Sunday night as he ran on to the pitch as Germany was playing Argentina in the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro. His popularity soared, with his YouTube page soaring to over 6 million hits.

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who has some 1.5 million fans on Facebook and 200,000 followers on Twitter, could be seen blowing kisses at the crowd and running toward the players.

The incident happened in the second half of the game at the Maracana Stadium, when the the two teams level at 0-0. Germany eventually won the match 1-0 in extra time.

In the stunt, Zdorovetskiy removed his red T-shirt to reveal the words “natural born prankster” written in English on his chest. He made a beeline towards defender Benedikt Howedes, whom he tried to kiss. The shocked German looked rather nonplussed.

However, around 1 billion TV viewers across the world were left in the dark about what had happened, as the host broadcaster immediately cut away to a picture of Christ the Redeemer set against the sunset. This is common when people invade pitches in order not to give them extra publicity and encourage more people to do the same.

Zdorovetsky’s actions impressed NBA basketball superstar Lebron James, however, who immediately uploaded photos of Zdorovetsky running on to the field of play onto his Instagram account.

The Russian, who now lives in America, was eventually tackled by five security guards before being arrested. However, that did not stop Zdorovetsky from keeping his legion of fans up to date, as he managed to send a selfie from jail.

The 22-year-old is no stranger to falling foul of the law. On his YouTube site, VitalyzdTv, which has more than 6 million subscriptions, he can be seen filming himself fooling passers-by that he is robbing an ATM machine.

A pitch invader is tackled by a steward during the 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014.(Reuters / Eddie Keogh)

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