Anytime anyone I know asks what I write about for a living, and I say “soccer,” I get back—I would say maybe 35% of the time—”Such crazy hairstyles in soccer, eh?” At this point Mario Balotelli will be name-dropped followed by Valderrama, who in non-soccer circles is known as “that South American guy with the insane hair on the yellow team.”
Valderrama is a legendary player, but I’m certain his talent is overstated as a function of his hair. So when Twitter rumours surfaced he’d cut it off, Twitter’s poo hit the fan. KCKCKRKCKRKCKRKCKRS has the pertinent details:
The photos were distressing. The tears, real. Why would El Pibe do such a thing? What is more precious than the hair that made his amazing play in the 90s such a transcendent experience for millions of fans? Why did you do it, Carlos? Actually, he didn’t. Deep breaths.
Despite this news taking off like a shot around the Twittersphere, the images of Valderrama without his locks appear to be photoshopped. The source of the rumor is a Twitter account that appears to be that of El Pibe.
But it was a kind of authentic looking hoax account instead. Another sign the Internet is horrible. Anyway, any news story on Valderrama allows me to post a much-needed reminder Valderrama also played the football:
For a footballing career that fits the script of a late-night cable TV telenovela, look no further than Hernan Dario Gomez.
At 56 years of age, the Colombian ex-player and current coach of Colombian club Independiente Medellin has enjoyed a career that far surpasses convention and borders on lunacy.
Known as El Bolillo, he was a prominent figure in Colombian football during the early 1990s, a time when the sport was being fueled by drug money in the country. He was part of the coaching set-up for Colombia’s infamous 1994 World Cup side, a tournament that ended in tragedy after defender Andres Escobar was shot soon after returning home from the United States. While guiding Ecuador to qualifying for their first-ever World Cup in 2001, he was shot in the leg for excluding the son of an ex-president from the country’s U-20 squad. And just last year, after taking on a second stint as Colombia’s national team coach, he resigned following an incident at a bar where he admitted to physically assaulting a woman patron.
However, throughout the drama, one thing has remained clear: Gomez is a capable coach whose involvement in the beautiful game has done wonders for a multitude of teams.
On Sunday, he had the chance to accomplish something that most coaches don’t ever get to experience. In front of Gomez was the opportunity to win Colombia’s domestic league with the club where he started his professional career as a player over 35 years ago. Comparisons can be drawn to Pep Guardiola, who won La Liga both as a player and a coach with Barcelona. Read the rest of this entry »