Blackburn Rovers defender Michel Salgado has lifted the lid on the infamous Venky's chicken TV ad by admitting he had to pretend to like his paymasters' product.
Venky's chicken ad
Salgado, a two-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid, had to adapt to a different culture when he was signed up by Sam Allardyce in August 2009, but life at Ewood Park took a turn for the worse when he was forced to feign enjoyment while tackling Venky's spiced poultry.
He told Four Four Two: "When we found out that Blackburn's owners wanted ten of us to do an advert for Venky's, we didn't really know what to think. I had to pretend to love it but the truth is, one bite and my stomach was in knots!
"Over the years I've done lots of endorsements and adverts. If it's on behalf of the club you can't say no - contracts usually stipulate that you have to be available. And although it might look a bizarre advert from an English or Spanish point of view, it was for the Indian market, which means taking a different approach.
"I think it turned out as they wanted and I'm just glad I didn't have to sing. When you do adverts the most striking thing is the sheer amount of time that you have to give over. You can be there all day filming scene after scene and it all gets whittled down to one 30-second advert.
"It makes you think, 'Blimey, it must be madness to be a proper actor'. We spent six or seven hours on 30 seconds - they have to produce a two-hour film.
''A director changing things, the light getting altered, the sound needing to be changed and shots being redone from another angle are all normal - when you throw in players trying to wind each other up during takes, with a big plate of chicken for company, it can go on forever.
"We had to wait ages for them to prepare the food while the acting skills were bad and the jokes even worse. You try to put each other off and ruin takes and you're rolling about. I think I came off worst. I'm not a big fan of spices and sauces. Curry is not something that the Spanish are used to."
Salgado, who recently tried to talk Raul into joining Rovers, believes that the end product justified the hardships he faced.
"It was worth it. Everyone's talking about it so it worked. After all, you know what they say - there's no such thing as bad publicity."