Every Tuesday, playsarea highlights the most outlandish moments from the wacky, sometimes daft, and perennially entertaining world of football. Here’s what made us smile – or cringe – on the pitch this past week.
Leipzig stars scorned for bringing bougie barber
Bundesliga antiheroes RB Leipzig’s tenuous grip on top spot in Germany has faded, and as Bayern Munich assume their predicted role atop the table, Die Roten Bullen critics have begun searching for targets to blame.
Leipzig’s players are happy to comply. After a shock defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, current Red Bull head of sport Ralf Rangnick ripped into a group of nine players, which reportedly includes regulars Yussuf Poulsen, Christopher Nkunku and Patrik Schick, for flying in a barber for a “decadent” pre-match trim.
A quick look at Poulsen’s Drogba-esque mangled mane of a pony fail would suggest a decent alibi for the Danish forward.
Prayers put on pause in Perth
Shifting the focus to Down Under, Perth Glory captain Diego Castro clearly misinterpreted teammate Jake Brimmer’s efforts to ask the man upstairs for some help ahead of a visit from Adelaide United.
De Rossi goes incognito mode for derby
Roma legend Daniele De Rossi went undercover to enjoy the derby stalemate with Lazio in the Curva Sud section of the Stadio Olimpico. You no longer need to wonder what the love child of Gandalf and Pippo Inzaghi would look like.
Hemel Hempstead shot-stopper Sam Beasant’s sarcastic diving response to Bath City striker Tom Smith’s wayward attempt from the car park is almost enough to endear the Weird Week to the people between the posts. Almost.
Donnybrook mars Northern Irish cup tie
Let’s see what else netminders have been up to of late. Ballymena ‘keeper Mark Byrne decided to fight fans after Warrenpoint midfielder Andrew McGrory’s late winner in a Northern Ireland semi-pro Sadler’s Peaky Blinders Irish Cup clash.
Sad to see the advertising hoardings for Dee’s Frozen Foods and Rosemary Connolly’s Solicitors trampled like that. Is there no more sanctity left in the Sadler’s Peaky Blinders Irish Cup?
Carelessness stings Bees’ ‘keeper
Brentford’s promotion pursuit received a boost with a 5-1 victory at Hull City, and it was almost a perfect performance for the Bees save for David Raya’s Loris Karius-esque own goal. Some delicate footwork there from the Spaniard.
Going Unsain in Argentina
Staying on topic, let’s check in on Hernan Crespo’s Defensa y Justicia, whose No. 1 Ezequiel Unsain did this against Atletico Tucuman in Argentina on Saturday: (Decent “Gol” call if you’ve got headphones handy.)
Suspected infidelity leads to car tampering
Scottish police charged a 29-year-old man with breach of the peace after the unnamed evildoer was seen meddling with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos’ Lamborghini. Probably just a Celtic supporter looking to cut the Colombian’s brake lines, right? Harmless stuff.
As it turns out, there may be more to the story, as several British outlets reported the fiddling fella was actually a private investigator hired by Morelos’ pregnant wife, Yesenia, to put a tracker on the player’s car. How’s that couch looking, Fredo?
Berge tribute sung in the key of B Sharp
Sheffield United set a club record in luring 21-year-old Norwegian Sander Berge from Anderlecht, and the midfielder was unveiled with a stirring song by veteran Blades striker Billy Sharp. Honestly, this slaps.
Lille’s Soumare gets cold feet for Magpies’ dismal digs
The January transfer window wasn’t a success for all Premier League teams.
Lille’s Boubakary Soumare appeared set to join Newcastle in a whopper of a move, and to cement the deal, French-speaking Magpies Florian Lejeune (the guy who in the last installment of the Weird Week discussed how to hide a dead body) and Allan Saint-Maximin (best Twitter account in the league/has played in a Gucci headband) FaceTimed the 20-year-old French midfielder.
Turns out that Soumare did a 180 after Saint-Maximin gave him a glimpse of the club’s training facilities, which is apparently a NordicTrack in a dusty basement. “We had a plane booked to go and meet Soumare, but the boy changed his mind,” Newcastle boss Steve Bruce confirmed. “He’s only young and there’s a lot of top clubs who have been linked with him.”
A lot of top clubs and Newcastle.
Should I stay or should I go now?
On the topic of footballers doubting destinations, in a second-tier Spanish tie between Fuenlabrada and Girona, Fuenlabrada’s Cristobal Marquez was shown a straight red for a tackle on Alex Granell.
Not so fast. A VAR check determined that Cristobal’s tackle was worthy of a yellow and not a dismissal, and the midfielder was retrieved from the tunnel at the Estadio Fernando Torres (named after the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker).
Cristobal took the field and promptly confronted Marquez, which earned him a second yellow card from match official Isidro Diaz de Mera Escuderos. Cristobal then hit the showers for good. It was meant to be.