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Balotelli: All smiles for once
The UAE footballer who made us all laugh with his widely YouTubed back-heeled penalty against Lebanon has died in a car accident. Theyab Awana was killed when traveling back from training with his club Bani Yas. He was just 21.
Awana was widely criticized for “not showing respect” at the time of his outrageously improvised penalty. The same nonsense was trotted out when Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli tried a back-heel from open play in a pre-season friendly against the L.A. Galaxy.
Awana’s sad death should remind us that football, for all its competitiveness and corporate wealth, is still just a game. Sport is supposed to be fun. Players and coaches need a sense of perspective while working in the sport that thrills so many worldwide.
Meanwhile Bayern Munich’s Brazilian defender Breno has been arrested on suspicion of arson after fire destroyed his home. Earlier last week came the shock resignation of Schalke 04 coach, Ralf Rangnick, due to exhaustion.
Last year came the awful tragedy of the suicide of national goalkeeper Robert Enke, 32. Four years ago, the richly talented Sebastien Diesler quit football after struggles with injuries and depression. In his own words, he was not cut out for the harsh business of football.