UPDATED: Soccer Player Blames the Baptists for Ruining His Career

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According to The Guardian, a former semi-professional soccer player (yes, I know it's called "football" over there but I'm not over there) has sued the Baptist Church, or at least the Baptist Union of Great Britain, for allegedly ruining his chances of playing professionally. Arquimedes Nganga, who is now 46 and whose name is fun to say, says his conversion to the Baptist faith and a life of "fervent evangelism" cost him a shot at playing for Manchester United.

I assume it's just a coincidence that the team's mascot is a devil.

"I could definitely have had a long career," said Nganga, who is probably wrong about that. "I see many players today who I am not inferior to — and perhaps [am] even better than. Most midfielders [apparently a soccer position] are either defensive or attacking but I was both," Nganga claimed. "I had something new." Nganga says he could have earned £20,000 a week as a defensive attacker (or attacking defender?) had the Baptists not talked him into joining up. That would have been a pretty big raise from the £200 a month he was earning as a semi-pro in Portugal, but I guess anything is possible.

Nganga's complaint reportedly also accuses the Baptists of causing him psychological harm, "destroying his social life," and accepting his "donations" under false pretenses. A lot of people here have been accusing law schools of the sort of thing, so maybe that's where he got the idea.

Update: The London Evening Standard has additional details on this matter that are worth sharing, although unfortunately I still don't have a copy of the lawsuit. According to this report, Nganga alleges he spent 19 years as a "fervent evangelist," and was sufficiently fervent that he was celibate the whole time. (So you can see why he's in a bad mood now.) Also, he appears to be blaming the Baptists not just for his 19 years in the desert but also for injuries he suffered due to failed attempts to convert people. "They got upset and reacted violently after being told they were sinners," Nganga reportedly said in court papers. "I was slapped and punched, and kicked in my left knee, breaking its cartilage."

It's not clear whether Nganga is charging the Baptists with negligently training him, or whether he was the world's worst evangelist to begin with.