But, like Luis Suarez, Mr Cameron returned home to a hero's welcome despite committing the offence of being defeated in a summit vote on who runs the European Commission.
As with Suarez, the home crowd didn't care what Mr Cameron had done, they were just pleased he'd got his teeth into things and the only question now is how far this tortured metaphor can be stretched before Mrs Merkel reveals her bite marks on live telly and FIFA urges David Cameron to get medical help, because it certainly isn't the first time a British prime minister has bitten off more than he or she can chew.
In the midst of the current football frenzy, German media preferred to compare Mr Cameron with Wayne Rooney, on the grounds that "he returns home defeated".
But, after extensive research, I find that Mr Rooney scored a very creditable goal against Uruguay in the current World Cup - and, according to Wikipedia, is "widely regarded as his country's best player".
So let's get away from football and back to the beautiful game of EU ducking and diving, where we find that Mr Cameron is the only member of the British team on the field and that a defeat in Brussels is often a triumph back in the UK where a plucky loser is all you have to be against the massed forces of FIFA.
And what's this? In the EU summit conclusions we find a telling sentence: "The UK raised some concerns related to the future development of the EU. These concerns will need to be addressed".
Weasel words, says the doom-mongers, but that is an insult to weasels, and ignores the fact that weasel words give wriggle room on both sides.
Don't forget that EU leaders included weasel words in the recent Lisbon Treaty to shut Euro-MPs up by giving them the impression of having more influence over who runs the European Commission.
Cunning MEPs seized on those weasel words and turned them into something they weren't, by inventing the notion that a centre-right euro-election victory in the European Parliament should deliver unto us centre-right Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission.
Virtually no EU leader agreed, but they patronisingly ignored the MEPs' shenanigans until it was too late to object without being accused of snubbing the democratic will of the people.
But the claim of both centre right and centre-left MEPs that "the voice of European Citizens has been heard", is fatuous because few who voted in the euro-elections had heard of Mr Juncker and certainly didn't see any link between voting for their MEP and voting for the head of the European Commission.
And, members of the jury, if the voice of the people has been heard, how come the European Parliament has ignored its own democratic piety and installed a centre-left MEP, and not one from the victorious centre-right, as its own president?
To misquote the most famous football line of all time: "They think it's all over - it isn't yet!".