Thursday, September 03, 2009

Centre Half

The "hard man" above is one Olof Mellberg born this day, 1977, in Amnehärad, Sweden. After starting his playing career in the Swedish league, Mellberg was shipped to a "bigger" club in Spain, from there he went to the place where I got to see him play the most Aston Villa. He starred at Villa from 2001-2008, and even managed to score the first ever goal in a competitive game at Arsenal's, new at the time, Emirates Stadium against my team Arsenal. I have forgiven him for that, though it did take a while. In his final game for Villa, against West Ham United at Upton Park, he gave each Villa fan a home or an away shirt with his name and number on the back and the message Thanks 4 Your Support, 4 being his number at the club. Pretty classy move for a professional football player, and that is something you can not say very often. From Villa he went to Juventus for two years, and is now presently playing his club football for Olympiacos in Greece. Sort of a step down I suppose, but he is a 32 year old (as of today) centre half that might just be a step slower than he used to be. However, it is as the 9th most capped Swedish footballer that he earned my undying respect. In 90 caps for his national team, Mellberg has even managed to score 4 goals. Not that bad of a record I suppose. One of the most "famous" incidents of his international career occurred during the 2002 World Cup when he got into a training ground fight with team mate Fredrik Ljungberg. Anyone who knows anything about these two fellows understands that the world in general, and football teams playing in a World Cup need a lot more Mellberg than Ljungberg in their makeup. So, for being that no nonsense "hard man" every team needs to deal with diving, flopping forwards, Olof Mellberg (September 3rd, 1977- present), you are my hero of the day.

1 comment:

chall said...

as a famous man said "that guy is more of a Mellberg than a Ljungberg" ;)