The Real MVPs: These Animals Photobombed Sports Games and Totally Stole the Show

When you settle down on the couch with a cold one in your hands and your team’s favorite jersey on your back, you probably don’t expect your epic on-screen sports session to be interrupted by an animal intruder, right? But it seems as though the animals of the world don’t like to feel left out, which is why they regularly make their way to the nearest stadium or pitch to say hello to the players in real life.

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Image: TIME

Yes, animals just love interrupting professional sports games – and these pictures prove it! From alligators on the golf green to dogs on the soccer field, it turns out that you can’t stop these animals from playing a game of fetch when and where they want. And if you ask us, these furry friends should be crowned the ultimate MVPs because these photos are hilarious…

This Cheeky Monkey Wanted to Get Involved in the Cricket Action

When you play sports outside you have to think about the animals that live around the pitch and whether your game is going to disturb them. And while most of the time these players and animals can live harmoniously away from each other, sometimes the furry creatures get a little inquisitive and want to see what’s going on around their home.

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Image: Villa in Sri Lanka

And it seems as though this cheeky monkey did just that during the third day of the first cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in 2015. As Jehan Mubarak and Rohit Sharma were gearing up to battle it out with their teams, this monkey ran across the green and had a little frolic on the grass in front of them!

These Golfers Found Themselves in an Otterly Strange Situation

We’ve heard about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but it seems as though this otter didn’t give a dam about its sporting interruption. This little guy happily ran across the green during a golf tournament in Singapore in 2016, and it looks as though these pro golfers were pretty taken aback.

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Image: Bleacher Breaker

It’s not every day you see an otter running out in front of you as they are normally nocturnal and stay away from humans. But we guess the grassy greens are the perfect runaround spots for these animals when they’re not swimming or holding hands in the water!

This Husky Invaded the Soccer Pitch for a Game of Fetch

If you have a dog, you’ll know that they can’t resist a game of fetch – especially when a ball is involved. So we don’t really blame this husky for getting a little overexcited when it saw a giant soccer ball roaming around a huge patch of grass during this game at Alexandra Stadium in Crewe, England.

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Image: The Atlantic

But it’s fair to say that both the Crew Alexandra and the Brentford teams were a little surprised when they saw this happy dog make an appearance in 2014. They didn’t quite know how to react, and play had to be stopped to ensure that the husky could make its way back to safety and away from the powerful players.

This Kangaroo Was Kicked off the Green During a Championship Game

While Australia is known for being the home of kangaroos, you probably don’t expect one to turn up on the golf green. But that’s exactly what the professionals at the Australian PGA Championship had to deal with when they made their way to the Hyatt Regency Resort in Coolum Beach in 2007.

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Image: The Atlantic

We can only assume that South African golfer Rory Sabbatini didn’t want to battle against the extra competition when he saw this talented ‘roo come up the fairway, because he took it upon himself to scare the poor thing away. It seems as though it did the job though, as the kangaroo quickly hopped back into the surrounding greenery.

This Cat Became the Ultimate Pitch Invader / Soccer Icon

Although pitch invaders aren’t welcomed during professional sports games, it’s fair to say that cute and cuddly animals sometimes get away with their interruptions. This was the case back in 2012 when a black and white cat made its way onto the pitch at Goodison Park in Liverpool.

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Image: Paul Ellis

This cat made its appearance during the Emirates FA Cup, and Everton’s goalkeeper Joel Robles took it upon himself to take the cat to safety. And while it caused major soccer disruption, fans fell in love with the cat and it ultimately became iconic and will forever be known as the “Goodison Moggy.”

This Swarm of Seagulls Caused Some Major Cricket Disruption

Cricket matches in Australia are taken very seriously. After all, the land Down Under is famous for being the home of international cricket stars. And while most matches go off without a hitch, the Tasmania and Victoria teams found themselves in a sticky situation during this Sheffield Shield match.

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Image: The Telegraph

Almost out of the blue, a giant swarm of seagulls descended on the stadium and began to wreak havoc above the cricket stars. The players had to keep their hands over their heads to protect themselves, and they could barely throw the ball without nearly hitting a seagull. The gulls were distracting for both teams, but ultimately they were a bad omen for Tasmania.

This Cat Decided to Give These Soccer Players a Run for Their Money

If you’re familiar with the world of soccer, you’ll know that professional soccer players earn a huge amount of money. And it seems as though this cat wanted to give the Tigres UANL and the Real Salt Lake players a run for their money in 2019, and it wanted to know whether they really deserved their million-dollar paychecks…

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Image: The Atlantic

This pitch invasion took place at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the cat really seemed to be into its work. It didn’t seem spooked by the players but instead got incredibly involved in their footwork, their dribbling skills, and their stamina. Yes, as you can see, this cat was kicking about as though it was part of the team.

These Giraffes Put Their Neck Out on the Line to Watch a Round of Golf

Golf courses are normally in the middle of luscious greenery and surrounded by trees, so it’s no real surprise when the odd squirrel or bird lands on the fairway. But it seems as though golfers in South Africa have to keep their eyes peeled for other animals trying to bag themselves a hole in one.

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Image: Golfpiste

Indeed, anyone looking for a casual, chilled-out game of golf should probably avoid the first hole of the Leopard Creek Country Club. Giraffes are constantly interrupting these games, and the last thing you want to do is upset a giraffe with a golf ball to the neck. It’s not a great place for golf, but at least it makes an insane photo-op.

This Fearless Squirrel Stopped Play on the Soccer Pitch

If you’re a fan of soccer, you’ll know that this sport is taken very seriously. Referees are trained to pick up on any little discrepancy from foul play to intruders on the field – but we bet the officials were a little surprised to see a fearless squirrel run onto the field during this game!

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Image: SB Nation

This sassy little thing made its appearance during the Football League Championship between Queens Park Rangers and Leicester City, and the game was stopped for a whole five minutes while numerous members of each team tried to divert the animal away from the field. In the end, the game was set back in motion, but nobody forgot the soccer legend.

These Guys Were a Little Sheepish When They Interrupted the Tour de France

The Tour de France is one of the most prestigious and one of the most famous cycling races of all time, and cyclists spend their lives training for such an event. Because of this, officials have to ensure that the ride goes as smoothly as possible. And in 2010, they did just that – before a herd of sheep decided to mess things up.

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Image: Insider

The cyclists were in the midst of their race when these fluffy things decided to cross the pass, and the cyclists had no choice but to stop in their tracks and wait for the sheep to move out of the way. This sheepish moment has since gone down in cycling history, and the sheep were victim to a lot of curse words…

This Praying Mantis Ultimately Became a Baseball Team’s Mascot

It’s not uncommon for sports teams to have mascots, but what’s uncommon is that this particular mascot earned its place due to its very obvious interruption! In 2011, the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers were in the midst of their baseball game when a praying mantis landed on the ball – but the players didn’t just shoo it away.

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Image: Mark Cunningham

Royals catcher Brayan Pena actually got pretty up close and personal with the mantis, while another player let the insect rest of their head. Amazingly, both teams seemed to be taken with the new addition to the field, and in the end, the Kansas City Royals decided to capture the mantis and keep it as their lucky charm and team pet.

These Seagulls Invaded Oracle Park to Make Their Mark

Anyone who has followed the history of the San Francisco Giants will know that this team and their stadium have been plagued by seagulls for years. It seems as though these flying nuisances just love to descend on Oracle Park to wreak their havoc, and many of the team’s games have been interrupted because of this.

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Image: SF Gate

This photo shows Giants outfielder Rajai Davis in the midst of a seagull swarm during a game against the Seattle Mariners back in 2008, and they’ve had more and more problems ever since. But fans of the Giants have come up with their own seagull prevention technique, and they sing the “Cha Cha Slide” every time they see a ‘gull makes its way into the stadium!

The Cat Was Let Out of the Bag During This Game at Angel Stadium

Baseball fans will know that any game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the St. Louis Cardinals is kind of a big deal. And with two huge teams battling it out against each other, fans descend on the respective stadiums to watch their chosen team stake their claim to the win. But something else also made its presence known on the field.

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Image: Lookout Landing

During a match at Angel Stadium back in 2016, a cat was let out of the bag – and it just so happened to run amock right where the players were batting! Play was stopped by the umpire Gerry Davis and the cat was located before being taken to a shelter. And while the cat was certainly an inconvenience, it also made everyone laugh.

This Happy Husky Halted a Soccer Game for Some Belly Rubs

We all love dogs, but what about dogs at a soccer game? Fans who made their way to the stadium in 2017 to watch Macedonia’s FK Vardar and Norway’s Rosenborg play against each other during the Europa League were blessed with just that when a happy husky made its way onto the field.

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Image: Evening Standard

Of course, as with any unplanned field invader, the officials paused the game at 73 minutes and attempted to escort the husky away from the players and the ball. But it seems as though this happy doggo didn’t want to go back to its owner, but instead wanted to be showered with belly rubs from the players. They were happy to oblige, naturally.

This Stray Dog Ran in First Place During This Epic Road Race

Road races garner a huge number of participants every single year, and they normally take place on special days in the calendar to make the event even more memorable. This particular road race is the 81st Sao Silvestre New Year’s Eve Road Race in Brazil – and in the front, you can see the elite runners and a very elite dog!

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Image: The Telegraph

And who can blame this stray dog, really? Without an owner to look after it, this little doggo saw a whole load of humans playing and just wanted to join in. So, it ran at the front of the pack and ultimately bagged itself first place. We’re not sure how the runners felt about it, but we think it’s super cute.

This Cycling Event Was Interrupted by Some Fast Moo-Ving Cows

Anyone who cycles on a regular basis will know that to cycle fast and efficiently you can’t have any barriers in front of you. And because of this, cycling races are planned well in advance, with specific routes blocked off from pedestrians to allow the cyclists to do their thing. You know, like the Vuelta a España race.

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Image: KK News

But sometimes this meticulous planning doesn’t always pay off, and French cyclist Steve Hounard realized that for himself during Stage 17 of the race back in 2011. At the top of his game and at the peak of his momentum, he was rudely interrupted by some cows who just wanted to pop by and say hi. The cows enjoyed the brief hello, but Steve didn’t enjoy it quite as much.

This Cat Wanted to Try Its Luck in the Bullring

Bullfighting is a controversial sport for many, but in Colombia, it’s been a traditional sport for decades now. Many people love to make their way down to their local bullrings to watch the matadors work their magic. And that’s exactly why the La Santamaria bullring in Bogota, Colombia was full to the brim with spectators in 2018. Oh, and a cat!

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Image: Animal World

Bulls and matadors are normally the only living beings that are allowed into the actual ring, but on this occasion, a cat decided to have a go as well. We’re not sure whether the cat thought it could subdue its bovine relative or whether it was trying to stop the matador in his tracks, but what we do know is that the kitty caused quite a stir.

This Capybara Decided to Make an Olympic Appearance on the Fairway

If a sportsperson is talented enough to compete at the Olympic Games then we know that they’re one of the best. Because of this, they deserve the chance to concentrate completely whether they’re just practicing their sport or whether they’re in the midst of a competition. But sometimes, the capybaras of the world just can’t be tamed.

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Image: Buzzfeed

While competing for Denmark at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, pro golfer Nanna Madsen found herself sharing the fairway with this adorable capybara. And although we do hope that this didn’t mess up her place in the women’s individual stroke play, we also hope that she got the chance to get up close and personal with this unique creature. What a moment!

This Impala Decided to Check up on the Golfers on This Green

Let’s be honest; this planet belongs to the animals and we just live in it. This is certainly the case when we make our way out of the city and head towards luscious areas of greenery – like a golf course! And while Doug McGuigan probably wasn’t expecting to be photobombed by an impala on this day, he seemed to enjoy it.

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Image: The Atlantic

Yes, this impala made itself known on hole 14 during the second round of the Africa Open in East London, South Africa in 2015, and it got everyone talking. We don’t know whether this it was just checking up on the game or whether it wanted to get involved, but either way, one photographer got this awesome photo out of it.

This Rogue Pigeon Wanted to Get Involved in the Football Action

Professional football is a sport that gets everyone’s blood pumping, from the players themselves to the fans watching in the stadium and from their couches at home. And it seems as though animals also want to get involved in this high-octane sport, including this rogue pigeon.

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Image: Silver and Black Pride

This bird on the loose made an appearance at the 2012 game between the Raiders and the Chiefs, and the players just didn’t know what to do with it. The more they tried to avoid it, the more the pigeon moved in their way, and eventually play had to be stopped so an official could grab it and take it away from the action.

This Pesky Chicken Wanted to Score the Winning Goal

Many animals make their way onto the sports field by pure coincidence, because they just fancy getting involved in the sports games. But a chicken incident in 2012 was definitely not a coincidence. It was instead part of a meticulous plan to make a statement.

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Image: The Athletic

Yes, a chicken was let loose on the Ewood Park soccer field while Wigan and Blackburn were battling it out as part of the Premier League – and it’s believed it was set loose by an angry animal rights activist. The chicken was a protest against the owners of Blackburn, a company that specialized in the processing of chicken meat.

This Bird Had a Flapping Great Time Keeping the Goalie Safe

When it comes to the game of soccer, the main objective is to stop any balls from going into the goal. And while teams have a goalkeeper for that, this bird obviously didn’t think that they were good enough. So, it decided to get involved and do its own goalkeeping work for the sake of the team.

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Image: VICE

This bird made its very dramatic appearance during the Copa Libertadores match between Arsenal Sarandi and Sao Paulo, and it certainly looked as though goalkeeper Cristian Vampestrini was its victim. Vampestrini looked utterly horrified to see a bird fly so close to him, and we bet that seriously put him off his game after that.

These Cricketing Hogs Decided to Ambush the Local Pitch

Although we’ve seen countless birds, cats, and dogs make their way onto sports fields, these cricketers found themselves in a rather different situation back in 2014. As the Bollington team battled it out with the Poynton team in Cheshire, England, they were joined on the field by a couple of old hogs.

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Image: Country Telegraph

These pigs seemed to come out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise, and the cricket players just didn’t really know what to do. The play was stopped until the hogs could be escorted back to wherever they came from, and the match continued as though nothing had happened. We still have the picture evidence, though.

These Birds Got a Little Too Close for Comfort on the Race Track

Superbike championships have gained a huge amount of popularity over the years, and this has allowed professional riders to really make their mark on the Superbike world. But one rider found himself in a sticky situation when these birds got a little too close for comfort in the middle of his race.

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Image: The Atlantic

While Nacho Calero was competing in the SuperSport FIM World Championship Free Practice session before the Superbikes at Phillip Island Grand Prix in 2018, two birds made their way across the track in front of his wheels. They narrowly avoided the wrath of the superbike, but we bet Nacho was pretty shaken by the experience.

This Kitty Got Caught in the Crossfire of an Oncoming Runner’s Race

Anyone who runs will know that stepping on a loose rock or tripping over a stick could have disastrous consequences. You can twist or even break your ankle and this can put you out of action for weeks! This is why officials try their hardest to keep race tracks free of debris. But sometimes animals slip through the cracks.

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Image: Epoch Times

That’s what happened at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco when a cat managed to make its way into the stadium and right onto the track. At the time, competitors were in the midst of their 5,000-meter women’s final – but the cat wasn’t fazed. It stood right in front of the runners and didn’t seem to care that they were in an intense battle for the gold medal!

This Alligator Wanted to Get an Autograph From the Golf Pro

Golf courses normally feature beautiful lakes and watering holes to make the course even more difficult, but where there’s water there are normally creatures of the deep. You know, like alligators! This is especially true in the United States, and competitors at the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana in Avondale found that out for themselves.

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Image: Golf Post

While golf pro Tony Finau was walking down the ninth fairway in 2018, he found himself walking right into the direction of a rather large alligator. Tony and his caddy managed to avoid the giant teeth and claws, but it seems as though this gator just wanted an autograph from its favorite golf star.

This Goose Decided to Attack a Poor Unsuspecting Golfer

Animals can be pretty vicious when they feel like they are being threatened, but nobody expects to be attacked by a goose when they’re just trying to have a round of golf! But that’s exactly what one high school golf star experienced during a junior game on a golf course in Michigan.

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Image: The Sun

Apparently, “The golfers just finished teeing off and were walking down the fairway. To the left there was a goose nest, and the golfers did a good job of avoiding it but the guard goose [hanging out on the far right] thought differently.” In the end, the golfer was attacked right on the green. Thankfully, he was unscathed.

A Macaw Chose to Land on This Soccer Player’s Head Mid-Match

Women’s soccer matches normally go down without too much drama, but many soccer fans still remember the events that took place back in 2020. After all, they had never seen anything like it before! During a match in Brazil, a giant blue and gold macaw parrot landed on the head of a player by the name of Bruna Benites.

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Image: The Guardian

This parrot seemingly came out of nowhere and obviously just wanted somewhere safe to land, but Bruna wasn’t too happy with the macaw’s decision to land on her head. She started to cry and her fellow players tried to coax the parrot off her by distracting it with the ball. In the end, it eventually flew off.

This Heron Decided to Get Front-Row Seats at the Australian Open

The Australian Open is a tennis competition that’s famous for bringing some of the biggest names in the sport against each other. But over the years, it’s also become known for its flapping interruptions! Yes, birds regularly disrupt play on the courts, and a heron did just that in 2016.

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Image: CBC

We can only assume that this giant heron wanted front-row seats to watch the match between Daniel Munoz de la Nava and Viktor Troicki because it flew right over the heads of the audience and right in front of the net. The players were obviously surprised, and we think this facial expression just about sums that up.