Sharjah new boy Kostas Manolas shows quick reflexes during photoshoot alongside lion

Greek international quickly jumped to his feet and beat a hasty retreat when he saw the animal jolt forward

Kostas Manolas has signed for UAE club Sharjah on a two-year deal. Reuters
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Kostas Manolas showed why UAE club Sharjah were so keen to sign him after displaying quick reflexes during a photoshoot alongside a lion.

The former Napoli and Roma defender signed for the Adnoc Pro League side last week ahead of Wednesday's transfer deadline for foreign players and took part in the elaborate shoot as part of his official unveiling at the club.

In a video that has now gone viral, the Greece international can be seen kneeling uncomfortably next to the lion while the shot is set up before jumping to his feet and backing away after seeing the animal make a sudden jolt towards him.

Thankfully, the lion was attached to a metal chain but that didn't stop Manolas from climbing over the "caution" tape that was placed next to him as a prop.

The 31-year-old became Sharjah’s third high-profile signing of the summer following the arrivals of Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic from Barcelona and Spain striker Paco Alcacer from Villarreal.

Signed on a free transfer from Greek club Olympiacos, Manolas agreed a two-year contract with the six-time UAE champions with the option to extend for a further season.

Sharjah have begun the new Pro League season in fine form, winning their opening three matches. They next face Khor Fakkan at home on Saturday.

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Updated: September 29, 2022, 6:26 AM