St. Petersburg's football club Zenit has acquired a new player: Bart Simpson.
According to a statement on the team's website, the newbie has already signed a contract and begun training with the rest of his team — but only as a mascot, thanks to a deal reached with the U.S. film corporation 20th Century Fox.
The famous yellow-hued cartoon character is pictured on the team's website, beaming as he shakes hands with Andre Villas-Boas, the football team's Portuguese manager. Bart, known for his mischievous antics on the famous television show "The Simpsons," was assigned the number 87, a nod to the date he first appeared on U.S. television screens, April 19, 1987.
On the first day in his new city, immediately upon arrival at Pulkovo Airport, Simpson set out straight for Zenit's office, where he met with the team's general director Maxim Mitrofanov, the statement said.
Afterward, Simpson went for a physical check-up, then to his hotel, the ultra-luxurious Corinthia Nevsky Palace Hotel, and finally to the Zenit Arena store on Nevsky Prospekt.
Villas-Boas immediately welcomed the new mascot, as did other team members. The new team member is also expected to get on well with Zenit's other mascot, the blue-and-white lion, with whom he will make his debut.