• Andrew Gabriel

Last Week in Soccer (LWIS) - Zlatan, Haaland, and Multiple Beatings

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Welcome to Last Week in Soccer, a weekly column dedicated to covering the unknowns and oddities in the world of professional soccer from the last week.

19-year-old wonderkid from Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga Erling Braut Haaland has been on an unreal run of form in the 19-20 season so far, scoring 26 goals in his first 18 games in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, but there is another fun fact about him you may not be aware of.

Haaland recently said in an interview with Dagbladet, a Norwegian newspaper, that he treats his match balls with a special kind of care.

“I have five hat-trick balls in my bed, I sleep with them,” he said. “They are my girlfriends.”

If any lovely Norwegian lady out there is trying to get Haaland’s attention, they now know what they’re up against.

A bit more well-known, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has parted ways with LA Galaxy and has been linked by multiple sources with clubs such as the A-League’s Perth Glory, Serie A’s AC Milan, and, and you aren’t reading this wrong, Manchester United.

Ibra wouldn’t be such a bad fit for Manchester United, though. The Red Devils have somehow managed to bring themselves up back up to seventh place at the time of writing, and, despite being 38, Ibrahimovic still has enough left in him to make an impact on United’s season.

My personal favorite Zlatan memory is when I got to see him miss an MLS record 14 shots against DC United while sitting three rows from the pitch in August while Bill Hamid put on an absolute clinic between the sticks.

But in all seriousness, I’ll be on Zlatan watch for the next couple months, as I, as well as the entire soccer world, are curious about where he’ll end up next.

In the Bundesliga in Germany, Eintracht Frankfurt captain David Abraham was handed a seven-game suspension for giving opposing Freiburg’s head coach Christian Streich a WWE-esque clothesline during their game on Nov 10.

This resulted in the benches clearing and a fight breaking out between the two sides, Abraham was also handed a straight red card, because obviously.

What surprised me, though, is that Frankfurt decided to appeal Abraham’s suspension. I’d be shocked if the suspension was cut down or if the appeal was even addressed, Abraham came in like JBL and gave Streich the Clothesline From Hell on worldwide television.

I honestly think he should be suspended for more than seven games, allow me to explain.

In 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo was banned for five games for shoving a referee in the back. He shoved the ref from point-blank range, and the shove wasn’t as hard as it could have been. Ronaldo definitely got the punishment he deserved, though, which brings me to my point.

If a point-blank shove results in a five-game suspension, an absolute obliteration of an opposing coach at full speed from halfway across the field needs to be at least ten games on the pine.

Finally, an Italian junior league coach was fired because of his team’s performance in a 27-0 game against Marina Calcio, the catch being that his team, Invictasauro, were the winners of the game.

Massimiliano Riccini was given the sack for essentially going against the respect protocol for the club, which, in layman's terms, would be: don’t beat the shit out of the opponent.

Invictasauro’s President Paolo Brogelli apologized in a statement to the Italian press.

“We were stunned and deeply regretful when hearing that our Juniores team had beaten Marina Calcio 27-0,” Brogelli said. “The values of youth team football are antithetical to such a thing. The opponent must always be respected and that did not happen today.”

In other news, the coach for Marina Calcio has yet to be fired.

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