• Oliver Barefoot

COVID CRAZY: FOUR FOOTBALL MOMENTS THAT NEED TO HAPPEN TO FORGET COVID


Football. It is so much more than just a sport. It can make your day, break your year, or if you're that crazy about it, drive your partner crazy (dad maybe apologies to mum).


But in those moments where your team does the unexpected, the moments that are embedded in your brain, the moments that engulf everyone, football fans or not, those are the moments us football fans live for. The moments that make you forget about everything else, that wipe away all your worries and for a split second or two lift you into a state of pure rapturous delight.


And right now we could do with a whole flurry of these, to help us forget about COVID and lift us into a place of pure jubilation.


So, even though these are unlikely to happen, for now at least, imagine they are and revel in the joy that could be.


Here are four moments that every football fan wants to see, COVID or not.


RONALDO RETURNS



You've heard it all before and for good reason to.


The return of the magical Portuguese (the original one, not our current hero Bruno) would bring absolute elation to the Manchester United fan base.


Cristiano Ronaldo made 292 appearances for the Manchester outfit, becoming a club hero in the space of just six years, before his then world record £80m transfer to Real Madrid.


Battling Messi for the label of the best football player in history, the Portuguese global superstar would walk into any team in the world, even at the ripe old age of 35.


The five time Ballon d'Or winner has been linked with a return to the Red Devils for what seems like the minute he left, but as he closes in on his 40th birthday, time is running out for games highest-scoring player ever(sorry Pele and Bican) to make the long-awaited return.


Ronaldo's return to the Old Trafford based club wouldn't do much to ease the pain of COVID, but it sure would be a welcome distraction for most football fans.


Unless you are a Juventus fan or anyone that hates United, *cough* Liverpool, that is.


THE XAVI AND INIESTA ERA


Unlike the return of Ronaldo to United, this dream hasn't been around too long, but for the short time that it has, it sure has created a stir.


The return of the legendary duo to the Nou camp is something the majority of the Barcelona fan base and everyone else for that matter, has been dreaming about.


The iconic duo dominated the football scene for years in the famous red and blue colours of Barcelona, so could they do the same suited up on the side lines?


I'd definitely take the gamble.


Ex-players returning to clubs as managers seems to be the new football trend. It's catching on nearly as much yolo in 2011, Gangnam style in 2013 or Tiktok in 2020.


Ole at United, Arteta at Arsenal, Pirlo at Juventus, Zinedine Zidane at Real, Lampard at ..... oops.


Even the man of the hour, Xavi is at his current side Al-Sadd. Having retired from football in May 2019 at the Qatari club, he was later named as manager just eight days after hanging up his boots.


So, could a second return to a former club in the shape as manager be on the cards? And maybe alongside Iniesta?


Xavi has already once turned down his 'dream job', after rejecting Barcelona's approach in 2020 after the sacking of Ernesto Valverde, claiming that it was 'too soon' in his managerial career.


But Iniesta hasn't shied away from the rumours, adding fuel to the fire, by saying in an interview with Radio Marca, that the proposition of the pair working together, "doesn't sound bad at all."


If I was a betting man, I'd see this as a safe bet for the near future.


Gerrard to Replace Klopp


The likelihood of Klopp getting the axe is extremely low, despite the recent revelation that there is a growing chunk of Liverpool fans hoping for his departure.


One man likely to be in line to replace him, if the Klopp-out movement gained ground, would be the return of Gerrard.


The move that would continue the trend previously discussed, seems like a no-brainer.


The through and through, Merseyside born, ex-Liverpool captain, has become a fan favourite at his current side Rangers.


Leading the Scottish Premiership club to 23 points clear of rivals Celtic at the top of the table, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is making managing look easy at his first attempt.


With over 500 appearances in a Liverpool shirt and over 100 goals to accompany that, Steven Gerrard is a club legend.


So, if Gerrard was to win the league title and Klopp was to get the chop, a move for Gerrard seems only logical.


And as the ex-England international started his managerial career at the Anfield based club, managing their under-18 team, the stage couldn't be more set for a reunion destined to happen.


This is definitely more a matter of when and not if.

SOUTHAMPTON WIN THE LEAGUE


Am I crazy? Maybe. Is it likely? No. Is the world unpredictable at the moment? Most definitely.


Before you start laughing at me for this outrageously bold statement, I don't think this is going to happen (sorry Uncle Ray)! But, would I be naive to think it's totally out of the question? YES!


If I've learnt anything over the past 12 months it's that anything can happen. One moment, a trip to the pub to watch a footy match with your mates is a typical Saturday and the next it's like a Jessie Lingard goal. Rare, unreliable, but when it happens incredible.


So, don't call me crazy just yet - don't forget Leicester's title winning season of 2015-16.


Southampton currently sit 10th in the Premier League, 11 points off leaders Manchester United, with one game in hand.


After a fairly poor run of form, with only one win in their past six Premier League games, Southampton's early season form has taken a huge blow, but as Ralph Hasenhuttl has already shown during his time as The Saint's boss, he is capable of stabilising the ship.


So, if The Saint's were able to regain their form, who's to say they couldn't make a late title push? They are already looking a threat in the FA Cup, after an impress win against Arteta's Arsenal.


Yes this is probably the least likely of the four, but look outside and tell me if anything is normal right now.

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MADE BY OLIVER BAREFOOT
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