Meet Phu Pha, the tortoise that loves playing football

This ten-year-old tortoise loves playing football and can even head the ball by ramming it with his shell.

Phu Pha - whose favourite team is Manchester City - was rescued several years ago after being found with an injured foot in the jungle in Phrae, northern Thailand.

He recovered and soon started joining in when children were kicking around a ball and it was soon chasing after it. Phu Pha can push the ball with his front head.

But the tortoise's favourite trick is recoiling into his hard shell, rocking back on his legs, then lunging forward to propel the football forward with a diving header.

Footage shot yesterday (December 27) shows Phu Pha with its proud owner Sompon Dawan, 52, outside their home.

Sompon said: ''Phu Pha is a very stubborn turtle and he will play with the football for a long time. Even when I try to tell him to go to bed he will stay outside.

''He first learned to play with the ball when the children were playing in the village and he joined in. He was following the ball and the children let him kick it.

''Phu Pha plays football every day and he would be in a bad mood if he can not play. Now I let him practice every day. My favourite team is Manchester City so Phu Pha supports them too.

''I would like to find a female for him to breed and have children with. Then, we can have a whole team of tortoise playing football.

''Phu Pha hasn't shown interest in breeding yet but we will keep trying.''