I have heard it argued that the romance, surprise and whimsy have been driven out of elite football by, y’know, the Corporations. Not if John Arne Riise has anything to say about it! The rocketing redhead’s last-gasp own goal yesterday was remarkable for a number of reasons, particularly in that it was the sort of chance that professional strikers often fail to convert. On a philosophical level, it proved that life (or at least the Champions League) is fundamentally absurd and absent of coherent meaning, an arena of Nothing in which caprice rules. (If, for example, Avram Grant goes from washing socks or whatever he was doing before Mourinho was offed to managing the Champions of Europe, he will have this unthinkable and random occurrence to thank.) And even I, a diehard Liverpool fan for about 18 months or something, had to admit that it was sort of hilarious. You just don’t see grown men doing that very often.


About zachdundas

Freelance journalist. Author of The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead Books). Thank you.
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