Andrew Cassidy, a tubby 50-year-old Welshman recently dubbed the "Welsh Maradona," has become the latest Internet sensation for his dazzling display of freestyle soccer skills in a parking lot that was captured in a video posted on YouTube a week ago.
The video highlighting the unemployed fisherman, who reportedly weighs 280 pounds, has already been viewed more than three million times. It shows the skillful ace handling a soccer ball like a man half his age and weight at the Milford Haven Docks in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Many of his fans across social media have likened the Welshman to former Argentine soccer ace, Diego Maradona.
"My head's just in a spin about it," said Cassidy to ITN of his newfound fame. "I only had about two hours sleep last night as I couldn't get to sleep thinking about what's happened in the last day. I haven't even seen myself on YouTube yet!"
Many who have seen him on YouTube found the video entertaining because of the combination of the dazzling skills coming from a man with Cassidy's weight.
"Amazing control, if he loses some weight he would have much more control + he could do more things as well. This guy is amazing," noted one viewer of the video under the username, TheFrezrArts.
Daniel Howlett, who posted one version of the video on YouTube, had to respond to backlash from some commenters because he initially referenced Cassidy's weight in the title of the video.
"…The video has changed his life. He was unemployed before and now he's well known throughout the UK and globally. Please stop groveling on about the video's title. I had a discussion about it on the last video before it got big and people backed up the title, and rightfully so because look at how popular it is now, and how popular he is," noted Howlett.
"I didn't really know how else to put it, and I'm not trying to insult him. I mean I could call it 'Large Gentleman Has Amazing Football Skills' or something along those lines, but it doesn't really have the same ring to it..." he added.
Cassidy told the Daily Mail that he started practicing his craft after he lost his job in 2002 and spends about two hours a day working on his moves.
"I'm quite agile for a big guy and I've got good hand-eye coordination, balance and timing," he said in the report.
"I'm pretty good even though I've got a lot of blubber on me: it's just a matter of practice and I've got plenty of time on my hands for that," he added.
With his newfound fame, Cassidy has since caught the eye of the World Freestyle Football Championships. The organizers have offered to pay him to perform in their opening ceremony scheduled to take place in Dubai this month and they plan of flying him to the event first class and room him in a world class hotel.
A spokesman for the organization told the Daily Mail: 'He's a sensation – you can't take your eyes off him.'