Somewhat improbably, Mikael Forssell failed to turn up for training earlier this week because of cat sitting next to his car.

The Finnish international has an allergy to cats and told his club VfL Bochum of the problem.

He posted on his Twitter account that he was unable to get into his vehicle due to a cat sitting outside his car.

So Forsell’s cat alibi can now jon the pantheorn of great excuses footballers have used to try and explain their absence from training.

Some players have gone to great lengths to explain their failure to make training, but no one has gone quite so far as Botafogo midfielder Somalia who, in 2011, said he had been abducted at gunpoint on his way to the training ground.

Somalia told police he had been carjacked and driven around Rio for two hours before having his money and jewellery stolen. Botafogo, it is worth pointing out, threaten their players with a 40% pay cut if they are late.

But police say CCTV footage from his apartment building showed him leaving late for work. He was charged for falsely reporting he had been kidnapped.

He eventually agreed to a deal offered by prosecutors to donate R$22,000 (£8,000) to the victims of floods in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in order to avoid a possible prison sentence and criminal record.