All In The Game: The mishaps keep piling up for Luka Jovic

Meanwhile, footballers are just people too, Andy Robertson’s Percy Pigs and more

Luka Jovic hasn’t had a great last few months at Real Madrid. Photo: Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

Luka Jovic hasn’t had a great last few months at Real Madrid. Photo: Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

 

Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic probably can’t expect a huge amount of sympathy from the club’s backroom staff after fracturing a heel bone in an as yet explained mishap at home in the Spanish capital.

The misfiring striker, who has scored twice in 24 games since a €65 million move from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer was reported this week to be a €40 million target for Milan but now faces anything up to a three month recovery, something that may prompt the Italian club to look elsewhere over the summer.

Jovic had been allowed to go home to Serbia earlier in the Covid-19 crisis but had been brought back to Spain after breaking his country’s lockdown regulations in Belgrade prompting president, Aleksandar Vucic, to threaten him with arrest if he stepped out of line again.

“I am very sorry that some people did their job unprofessionally and did not give me the correct instructions on how to behave in self-isolation,” Jovic said in what was one of the greatest non-apologies of all time.

It may well have taken badly by those who deal with him back at Real, including medical staff who would presumably have had a role in advising the player on protecting himself from a virus that has hit Spain particularly badly.

“Does this hurt, Luka? Yes? What about when I do THIS!”

Footballers are just people too

While many clubs and leagues are determined to get back playing in order to honour their end of TV and commercial contracts, there have been a fair few dissenting voices, not least from players, concerned that they might well be the ones to pay the price of catching the virus.

In Brazil, where president Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed Covid-19 as being of virtually no risk to footballers and where the league is about to resume, players from almost every club joined forces this week to make a video outlining their concerns.

In England, as the debate raged on, 22-year-old Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell, tweeted the simple message: “We are just people too”.

In Germany, meanwhile, former Chelsea striker Saloman Kalou has had to apologise after the emergence of a video that showed him fist-bumping teammates, barging in on a swab test and singing what was described as a “corona song”.

“I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I’m not taking coronavirus seriously. The reality is the exact opposite (but) I didn’t really think it through and was excited that my tests came back negative.”

Intro of the week

“Popular pallbearer and internet sensation Benjamin Aidoo has asserted that Ghanaians have not forgiven Asamoah Gyan for his penalty miss in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final tie with Uruguay, claiming fans went to harass his mother afterwards.” – Goal.com

By the numbers

42: The current age of Brazilian midfielder, Formiga, who this week signed a one-year extension to her contract with PSG as she attempts to finish her career at what would be her seventh Olympic Games. The former Sao Paulo and Malmo star has already featured at that many World Cups.

Quotes of the week

“Not to disrespect the virus…” – The worlds of professional football and pandemic collide as Shelbourne’s Luke Byrne discusses the current situation on Newstalk.

“Balotelli is a negative person, with no respect for the group. During the Confederations Cup against Brazil in 2013, he didn’t lend a helping hand for anything, he really did deserve a slap.” – Giorgio Chiellini, with a new book to flog, becomes the latest in a very long line to slag off Mario Balotelli.

“He says Balotelli should be slapped and I am the worst of the worst who always risked sparking a brawl? Well, when I went to Galatasaray, we gave his Juve some ‘slaps’. He was always a coward who’d wet himself…” – Veteran Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo who is also on the receiving end on the autobiography has an equally classy cut back.

“Any points that are taken away from us will be a life saved.” – Botafogo director Carlos Augusto Montenegro on his club’s willingness to suffer whatever punishment i imposed for their refusal to play games if, as planned, the Brazilian league is restarted.

Tweet of the week

Lest Remembrance Sunday doesn’t allow football sufficient opportunity to express its mawkish side...

Percy pigs just some of the perks for Robertson

When Liverpool left back Andy Robertson was released by Celtic, he recalled in an interview with the Guardian this week, he signed for Queen’s Park where the policy of only playing underage players expenses left him in need of a job.

“I was on the checkouts at M&S,” he explained before revealing the perk that went down best with his pals. “My mates got discounts on Percy Pigs, so they were delighted.

“I actually did a couple of shifts on women’s lingerie,” he added, in a moment that brings to mind one of Father Ted’s many celebrated scenes. “I didn’t really think about football then.”

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