Russian World Cup hero Artem Dzyuba broke the internet in his homeland after a leaked video appeared online showing a man with a strong resemblance to the striker pleasuring himself while lying in bed.
In the footage, which is of unknown origin but quickly went viral on Saturday night, a man bearing an uncanny likeness to the giant Zenit St Petersburg star is seen masturbating in bed while grunting with pleasure.
The more perceptive Russian social media users picked up on background noise from the television which appears to be from a Match TV broadcast featuring blonde presenter Maria Orzul, and have suggested the footage is from December of 2019.
The video and screenshots soon spread like wildfire across Russian Twitter and messenger services such as Telegram.
Neither Dzyuba nor Zenit have commented on whether the clip is actually the striker himself, although the 32-year-old has blocked the ‘comment’ option on his Instagram account.
However, that has not stopped Russian football fans from having a field day at the expense of their national team skipper.
“Artem Dzyuba risks missing the match with Krasnodar [on Sunday]. He’s following an individual training program,” read one tweet.
“When Dzyuba’s used his hand but you don’t want to check,” read another, playing on the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in modern football.
когда дзюба сыграл рукой, а ты не хочешь проверять pic.twitter.com/xe4bk9yj44
“He always said he could do it all on his own,” one person wrote, while a parody account for Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov added: “I won’t offer my hand to Dzyuba anymore.”
Руки больше не подам Дзюбе
A twist to tale is also the supposed presence of the voice of TV presenter Orzul in the clip, with whom Dzyuba was linked romantically back in 2015 when both were married. Dzyuba later reconciled with wife Kristina, with whom he has two sons.
Referring to the latest video, prominent Russian sports commentator Dmitry Guberniev wrote on his Telegram account: “Again Artem Dzyuba alarmed everyone. And again everyone calls my friend Masha Orzul! We all know that Dzyuba is a passionate person, but this time Orzul has nothing to do with it! I know for sure!”
The 6ft 4in star became a national hero during the Russia 2018 World Cup, scoring three times on his team’s run to the quarterfinals and becoming known for his trademark ‘salute’ celebration.
Dzyuba was elevated to captain by manager Cherchesov after the tournament and has made 47 appearances for ‘Sbornaya’, scoring 26 times.
The frontman – who has been linked to a move to Europe throughout his career, including to English Premier League club Tottenham – has been a driving force in Zenit’s domestic success in recent years, helping them win back-to-back Russian league titles and landing a league and cup double last season.
Dzyuba is due to lead the team out on Sunday for the Russian Premier League clash with Krasnodar at Gazprom Arena, before joining up with the national team for the upcoming friendly with Moldova and UEFA Nations League games against Turkey and Serbia.
The big target man was the butt of more online merriment in July, when locker room footage showed him simulating sex with Iranian teammate Sardar Azmoun during Zenit’s title-winning celebrations.