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Permit me to start this letter your way,
– Ediale sends his greetings from Jersey Number Twelve ‘s desk. You’ve been quite an interesting figure. Perhaps the reason for the sensations in my fingers as Ediale writes to you. Ediale thinks you are the most interesting character in the history of soccer –
You are theatrical in every aspect. How you have managed to sustain such dramaturgical assertiveness and the patency of such lifestyle is what makes you a giant icon. And I am not talking about your physical basics here. It’s the quality level of the kind of performance you have shown in your soccer path and how it juxtaposes your bad boy persona that I talk about.
This is the first time writing a letter seems like copulating.
I have orgasm in my fingers.
And I blushed at every inking of a line and giggle with all excitement like a cockerel launching a mating attack – Cocka-doodle-doo!
It’s hard and almost impossible to see a footballer get signed by a top club at the receding time of his career. What we have seen is great players enjoy their moments of awesomely active period in a top club and after which they retire to a less competitive league or an average club. But that’s definitely not how you roll.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic ends his career with PSG, then Manchester United, the most successful club in the EPL, comes calling. The rest is history. You are a Red Devil at 36. At 17, Wenger wanted you to come for a trial with Arsenal but you refused with a legendary quote, “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”. October burns are creative and gifted; Arséne Wenger should have followed his guts. He heard about how good you were but didn’t ask for your birthdate. He’s October 22nd, you are October 3rd and I am October 22nd.
Your story is a potential Hollywood flick. With a lot of villainy awe:
– In 2004, your Ajax teammate, Van Der Vaart, called you out for deliberately breaking his left leg. Your reply was ‘I look forward to breaking the right leg too’.
– When another teammate, Mido, threw you a pair of scissors in the dressing room. You dressed his jaw with punches.
– In Barcelona, when Xavi and co were giving Pep Guardiola all the genuflections they could come up with. You wrote a letter of promise to Barca board promising to beat up Guardiola in the open at Nou Camp. They knew you always kept such promises, so they quickly sold you to Milan.
Of all the fights you had. Two affects me; I am taking revenge on their behalf. Despite the quick transfer to Milan. You still had your moment with Pep. You threw an object at him. You crossed the line there. You also crossed the line when you engaged my Nigerian brother in a fistfight. After attacking Oguchi Onyewu at the training ground with a two-footed crashing and a headbutt you went ahead to wrestle with him. I will revenge this case and that of my mentor, Guardiola.
As I write, Bash Ali is being prepped for a trip to Old Trafford. He has only one agenda, and that’s to give you two black eyes. I suggest you use the Google to know whom I am sending your way. Don’t laugh that I am sending an old boxer to you. Bash Ali brags of his African made charms, that he terms ‘Bendel Insurance’. He may be approaching his 80th birthday but he is still knocking out strong men in the boxing ring. I hope you are scared?
On a second thought, I will tell him not to come for you. I read a piece that said my Nigerian brother was almost going to kill you in that fight. I read how it took the intervention of fellow playmates to end the fracas, but not before you got a broken rib.
Now you know better than to mess with a Nigerian. Back to your antagonistic heroics:
– You have punched Marco Rossi in the stomach, slapped Salvatore Aronica, kicked Antonio Cassano in the face while Cassano was speaking to reporters, Rodney Strasser during a training session, kicked Stéphane Ruffier in the chest, crushed Lovren’s head, and stamped on Andrés Guardado.
You’ve been a bad boy. I guess that’s why in December 2015, the French sports daily, L’Équipe, branded you and Cristiano Ronaldo the “most arrogant” footballers in the world. Yet, I still respect you for the talent. You were called to play football. In the game, you are surely a bishop.
You have done well for yourself. Being the second-most decorated active footballer in the world, with 33 trophies to show for it, is not beans.
You are the only player ever to score in the first five league match appearance. We are still waiting for Ousmane Dembele to score his first goal after his 6th appearance. Has Sanchez scored since joining Man United? Naah, I’m not talking about scoring from his Penalty rebound. You scored on your first three appearances for Manchester United.
As successful as you are, you may never win the Ballon Dor or lift the Champions League cup but the world will always remember that goal that gave you the 2013 FIFA Puskas Award. You will be remembered as the only player to score in the UEFA Champions League with six different teams. Along with Ronaldo, you are one of two players to have scored a goal in every minute of a football match during your career.
Your father is Muslim and your mother a Catholic but who are you? I know you claim soccer is religion and you really are caught up in any religious activity but I am tempted to call you a Buddhist! Yeah, I took time to analyze the tattoos drafted on your body.
Nine of the tattoos here:
• Your Surname in Arabic
• Names of your sons Vincent and Maximilian
• The Buddhist ‘Five Deva Faces Yantra’
• A Buddhist protective emblem
• The 2Pac phrase ‘Only God can judge me’
• A feather
• A Koi fish
• Polynesian tribal, and
• An ace of hearts and clubs
…So am I right? I guess I could say you are a Buddhist!
Anyways, whatever your religion you seem to have a good heart. When your shameless National Teammates were donating autographed Jerseys to the Swedish National Football Team, you donated US$51000.
I do not know if I should ask that you come give me Taekwondo training since you have a black belt in that sport. Or you should come and give me money. I choose money.
Who black belt help?
Bro Stanley that was always doing Taekwondo moves all over our compound in Ejigbo, those days, has made me hate the sport. One day, in the broad daylight, in his full Taekwondo regalia, he was lifted up and smashed to the floor by one Bro Mutiu. As bro Stanley landed on the floor like a sack of beans, my bets were lost. I had staked on the fight that an ordinary car washer with poor diet couldn’t beat my heroic-looking neighbor who is always out in the 6-flat compound taking and giving Karate lectures.
Just bring the money and forget about the fight teachings…with all your black bet my Ibo brother still gave you a broken rib. So what the use?
I was thinking about adding you to The Beverage Room facebook group, then I remember Zlatan doesn’t drink Alcohol. I wanted to brag about you in that group of creative drunkards so they know that when they were busy drinking away, I was busy making important friends. Now that you don’t drink, what do I do?
Maybe what I will do is ask Harry Itie to host us on his TV show. Me, you, your longtime partner, Helena Seger will be live on TVCconnect , Entertainment Splash, one of these days. The next day, I will contest as Vice President alongside Presidential aspirant Omoyele Sowore .
Until then, I will be a good boy, cheering you to surpass Dani Alves’s 34 trophies. But Pep Guardiola is in town, and your Coach is always parking the bus. How do you beat that record? I suggest you find a way to come play for MFM FC, here in Nigeria and set your own records. I can only imagine the revolution you will bring to the NPFL.
I bet it will only be a matter of time before other super soccer stars start coming down here as well. You’ll like our food, weather, and music. What I can’t guarantee you is the pitch. But you are Zlatan, I am sure you can deliver, even on a terrible pitch. With time, a Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC or T Y Danjuma or Atiku Abubakar will pump money into the league and all will be history.
I won’t stop inking and praying that these dreams and wishes come to pass, don’t you stop being controversially heroic. Hugs and salutes. Stay blessed.