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Ricardo Pepi

'Fake news!' - Augsburg respond to false quote that USMNT star Pepi was peed on during club initiation

1:37 AM MYT 21/01/2022
Ricardo Pepi Augsburg 2021-22
The German club have taken to social media to dismiss an embarrassing claim from online trolls regarding the teenage striker

Augsburg have labelled a quote claiming that United States national team star Ricardo Pepi was peed on by Markus Weinzierl as part of a club initiation ceremony "fake news".

Pepi became Augsburg's new club-record signing when he arrived in Bavaria from FC Dallas for €18 million (£15m/$20m) on January 3, with the 19-year-old committing to a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Augsburg beat a number of top European clubs to Pepi's signature, including Liverpool and Bayern Munich, but his start to life in Germany has been marred slightly by online trolls.

What's been said?

Pepi gave an interview to Sport Bild earlier this week outlining his ambitions as an Augsburg player, setting his sights on Champions League qualification while also singling out Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski as his main role model.

A fake quote from that interview subsequently began doing the rounds on social media, with it claimed that Augsburg boss Weinzierl welcomed the teenager to the club by urinating on him in the showers at the club training ground.

The Bundesliga outfit have now come out to rubbish the report, writing on Twitter: "Actually obvious that this 'quote' is fake! We can laugh about a lot and often don't take ourselves too seriously.

"But since some of you out there seem to think so, let's make it clear that this is fake."

How has Pepi started at Augsburg?

Pepi was handed his Augsburg debut in their 3-1 loss at Hoffenheim on January 8 as he came on for the final 30 minutes when the visitors were trying to get back into the game.

The American forward impressed enough to make Weinzierl's starting XI in their next Bundesliga outing, playing 84 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Pepi looked lively in his first home game for the club and might have scored twice on another day as he squandered two clear openings, but will likely have the chance to break his duck again when Augsburg take on Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.

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