Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who has about 1.5 million fans on Facebook and 200,000 followers on Twitter, could be seen blowing kisses at the crowd and running toward the players.Zdorovetskiy, who now lives in America, wrote "Natural Born Prankster" on his torso before his stunt, which ended when he was tackled and carried off the field by five "stewards" and arrested. Naturally he took a selfie from jail.
The incident happened in the second half of the game at the Maracana Stadium, when the the two teams level at 0-0. Germany eventually won the match 1-0 in extra time.
In the stunt, Zdorovetskiy removed his red T-shirt to reveal the words “natural born prankster” written in English on his chest. He made a beeline towards defender Benedikt Howedes, whom he tried to kiss. The shocked German looked rather nonplussed.
However, around 1 billion TV viewers across the world were left in the dark about what had happened, as the host broadcaster immediately cut away to a picture of Christ the Redeemer set against the sunset. This is common when people invade pitches in order not to give them extra publicity and encourage more people to do the same.
Zdorovetsky’s actions impressed NBA basketball superstar Lebron James, however, who immediately uploaded photos of Zdorovetsky running on to the field of play onto his Instagram account.
Basketball star Lebron James took video of the incident and posted it on his Instagram account.
LOOOL @Vitalyzdtv pic.twitter.com/29AvxdJVOd
— Habiba Da Silva (@HabibaDaSilva) July 13, 2014
Unrelated, but funny: Keith Olbermann on David Letterman, quoting L.A. Times in 1978:
"Soccer is the sport of the future in America and always will be."