By Gaby Kirschner
[W]ith Major League Baseball’s 2016 season imminently upon us, the question must be asked: what if our best soccer players played baseball? Two things would be for certain: Cristiano Ronaldo would definitely refuse to wear a batter’s helmet because it would mess up his hair, and these would definitely be a few players’ walk-up songs.
John Terry — Shaggy, “It Wasn’t Me”
“We should tell her that I’m sorry
For the pain that I’ve caused.
You may think that you’re a player
But you’re completely lost…”
You’ve always been a player in two ways, John, and it’s debatable which one you’re better at.
• • •
Luis Suarez — Halestorm, “Love Bites (So Do I)”
“I slither like a vipe
And get you by the neck…”
Or the shoulder. Whichever is closest.
• • •
Carli Lloyd — The Who, “I can See For Miles”
“You’re gonna lose that smile,
Because all the while,
I can see for miles and miles…”
Well, specifically, for 54 yards; but since it was not her first but her third goal of last summer’s Women’s World Cup, Japan might already have lost their smile by then. And FC Kansas City definitely lost their smile after her 30-yard goal against them a few weeks later, too.
• • •
Mario Balotelli — Kanye West, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
“Man, it’s so hard not to act reckless.
To whom much is given, much is tested.
Get arrested guess until he get the message.
I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny…”
The kind of recklessness that only a behavior clause can modify. Kanye West would never have agreed to sign.
• • •
Daniel Sturridge — Blondie, “Heart of Glass”
“Once I had a love and it was a gas,
Soon turned out I had a heart of glass.”
That love was soccer, but unfortunately that heart was also his legs and his knees and his hip…Can a player have a walk-up song if they’re rarely healthy enough to hear it?
• • •
Zlatan Ibrahimovic — Drake, “Started From The Bottom”
“I was trying to get it on my own,
Working all night, traffic on the way home,
And my uncle calling me like, ‘Where ya at?
I gave you the keys told ya bring it right back.
Started from the bottom now we’re here,
Started from the bottom now the whole team’s here.”
We — or the kids whose bikes they were — won’t ever forget that you used to get to practice in Rosengard on stolen bikes, Zlatan. But we’re also glad you did.
• • •
David de Gea — Alanis Morissette, “On My Own”
“Why do I feel it’s all up to me /
To see that everything’s right and it’s how it should be?”
Because it is, David. That’s what happens when a defunct Wayne Rooney is still your star striker on one end of the field, and when your defenders on the other allow such notably offensively strong teams like Liverpool into your box again and again. Until something changes (read: Van Gaal leaves), it’ll remain up to you to single- — or double- – handedly keep saving Manchester United’s season.
• • •
Eden Hazard — The Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
“I can’t get no satisfaction
’Cause I try and I try and I try and I try…”
31-game goal drought that lasted from May 3, 2015 to January 31, 2016? Check, including no goals yet in this season’s Premier League despite his 26 shots. On-and-off injuries that have often kept him out of the team entirely? Check. Generally poor performances when he does play? Check. It’s been a radical change from the 2014–15 PFA Player of the Year’s last season, when it seemed like he didn’t even need to try at all to be so good. But Hazard, does it at least make it a little better that your team is no longer “on a losing streak”?
• • •
Mario Gomez —
Oh come on, this one’s obvious.