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Rio Ferdinand, model maker

2 July 2021

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

These European Championships are not about football, it turns out. They’re all about junk food and sugar-saturated drinks. Exhibit A: Cristiano Ronaldo throwing his toys out of the pram on finding two Coca-Cola bottles in front of him during a press conference. Exhibit B: the Switzerland captain Granit Xhaka downing a bottle of coke before his side won a penalty shoot-out against France.

Where’s the art in that, you wonder? Introducing exhibit C: Rio Ferdinand’s ‘snackadium’, a model stadium that has been ‘designed’ by the former England defender turned TV pundit. And not just any miniature arena: this is no simple Subbuteo set and nothing so painstaking as a Lego colosseum. Ferdinand’s wee Wembley is particularly crafted to hold not paltry people in its stands but mass-produced salami snacks made by Peperami.

Rio Ferdinand’s Peperami paradise

Rio Ferdinand’s Peperami paradise

The snackadium, says the popular sausage seller, is a ‘savoury, sports-themed answer to German gingerbread houses’. Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia, at least, is listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. You can never be certain, but Rakewell is fairly sure that Rio Ferdinand’s meaty arena won’t be joining it anytime soon.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.