All in the Game: It only take a minute for Jesé to pocket another medal

Boateng boasting backfires . . . Bolsonaro fails to calm worried players . . . quotes of the week

 

Football has been sprinkled through the years with big-name players who managed to go through an entire career without winning a league medal, Steven Gerrard being one example, as the poor fella is reminded just about every time he does an interview.

But then you get lads like Jesé Rodríguez Ruiz. The Spaniard, now 27, was the next big thing back in the day, but since moving from Real Madrid to Paris Saint-Germain in 2016 it’s been a bit of a struggle to realise his potential, Jesé having had four loan spells since – with Las Palmas, Stoke City, Real Betis and, currently, Sporting Lisbon.

Still, he managed to pick up a league medal with Madrid in 2012, his contribution to their efforts that season amounting to 10 minutes when, in his only appearance of the campaign, he came on as a sub for Cristiano Ronaldo.

And what happened last week? He was awarded the second league medal of his career after PSG were declared Ligue 1 champions when the French season was ended prematurely because of the pandemic.

Because the rules in France differ from, say, England, where you have to play in five games to qualify for a league medal, the one minute – yes, one minute – Jesé played for PSG back in August before leaving for Sporting was sufficient for him to add that medal to his collection. (A collection, incidentally, that includes two Champions League winner’s medals with Madrid, despite not getting off the bench in either final).

So, that’s two league medals for 11 minutes of action. For every Stevie G, then, there’s a Jesé.

Satta says too much about Boateng

Lockdown is, of course, giving folk a chance to reflect on their lives and, in the case of Melissa Satta, look back on moments of regret when being a little too forthcoming with personal information ended up having, possibly, quite a detrimental impact on the career of her partner.

That’d be Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng whose list of clubs – Hertha Berlin, Spurs, Borussia Dortmund (loan), Portsmouth, AC Milan, Schalke 04, Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sassuolo, Barcelona (loan), Fiorentina and Besiktas (loan) – would somewhat hint at an inability to settle down.

It was while Boateng was with Milan, when his form wasn’t the best and there were questions over his fitness, that Satta chose to tell the world: “The reason Kevin is injured so often is because we have sex seven to 10 times a week.”

Six years on, she admits revealing this wasn’t the wisest of moves, not least because his gaffers ever since were left wondering would he last the 90 minutes.

“You can’t believe what a whirlwind I ended up in,” she told Gazzetta dello Sport last week. “You have to be very careful about what you say in football, especially when it comes to sex. And just because we have sex so often doesn’t make me a nymphomaniac.”

You’d guess they aren’t passing their Lockdown time making sourdough.

No words of comfort from Bolsonaro

Footballers the world over have been expressing concerns about returning to action in the coming weeks, many believing that it’s too soon to resume their seasons. Sergio Agüero, for example, talked of players being “scared” of a resumption because of the impact it could have on their families.

In Brazil, though, president Jair Bolsonaro is keen for football to resume as soon as possible. “The football authorities have already come to me,” he said, “and if it depends on me they have my vote for a speedy return.”

What comforting words had he for players worried about their health, and of those close to them?

“Because of their physical state, because they are athletes, if infected with the virus, they have only a small chance of dying.”

Worries banished.

Number: 95

“My great-grandmother is a super heroine,” said Cesc Fabregas. She is too – at 95, Flora has recovered from the virus. Just like her great-grandson, then, she has a good engine.

Word of mouth

“I’m the fried egg specialist.” – Jose Mourinho putting lockdown to good use by adding a culinary skill to his repertoire.

“I cannot quite get my head around how we social distance. How do you social distance on a corner kick?” – Brighton’s Glenn Murray, a bit doubtful about talk of the Premier League returning soon. Some would be unkind enough to suggest the Brighton defence have been socially distancing at corners all season.

“Deep in my chest, my soul, my heart – I am sure that we will cross paths again. From the day that I left the club, my dream is to be back and to try to finish the work that we didn’t finish . . . deep inside, I would like to be back one day because the club is special. The fans are so special.” – Mauricio Pochettino issues a come-and-get-me plea to, eh, Spurs.

Gordon Strachan arrived – with a Scottish accent. I understood absolutely nothing he was telling me. I can’t even say if it was good or not, if it was English or not.” – Now retired French midfielder Didier Digard reminiscing, not too fondly, on his time under the Scot at Middlesbrough.

“He’s got a really soft, gentle side to him that you really don’t see. He’s an unbelievable ballroom dancer. He can do the splits.” – Kasper Schmeichel on his former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson, now Watford boss, who we will never look upon in the same light again.

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