Sweden’s first against the Netherlands at Bramall Lane last night barely had time to begin when Kosovar Asllani was embroiled in a duel.
A bang, then she lay down in the grass like so many times before.
In the next, Sweden’s first scoring opportunity, signed Kosovar Asllani.
Half an hour into the match, Asllani did what only Asllani does.
Asllani took the ball out on the right wing, humiliated poor Dutch defender Aniek Nouwen with a tunnel. Hitting the ball perfectly towards the goal, there was Jonna Andersson who certainly made it 1-0.
Kosovar Asllani was Sweden’s best player in the European Championship premiere.
Then she was careful to say she was a striker, questions about Sweden’s defensive play arose because Asllani did a great job there as well.
At times she quit and playfully won the ball from one of the best players in the world, Vivianne Miedema, then continued at full speed.
The commentator shouted
For 13 years, Kosovar Asllani has been part of the Swedish national team, for several years Sweden’s biggest fixed star.
At the same time, there were others who stood out, Fridolina Rolfö, Stina Blackstenius, Magdalena Eriksson.
And sometimes the feeling crept in that Asllani’s greatest days are over.
But then yesterday:
“Absolutely brilliant by Asllani, a ‘see you on the hill again'” shouted BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce of the Swede.
He wasn’t the only one praising.
Asllani herself, she was a bit satisfied, 1-1 is not a result that suits the 32-year-old.
Last year was not completely easy for Kosovar Asllani, the situation in the Real Madrid club team then turned out to be difficult. Asllani was sometimes forced to play injured in the big Spanish club.
But just when you think the Kosovar Asllani has fallen, she gets back up.
Unique in its own way
For some time, Asllani has finished with a new club, AC Milan, this is his fifth club abroad. And a new country, again.
That says a lot about his willingness to grow, to try new things.
And that she still has a huge motivation as a football player, just like yesterday she was a great driver for the Swedish team.
On and off the pitch, the Kosovar Asllani was – and is – a bit of a diva, answered sour questions from some of us reporters, tended to the referees, waved his arms after the lesser efforts successes of his teammates. And lately, she has mostly appeared stylish in photos for advertising campaigns and fashion magazines around the world.
There hasn’t been a lot of “mainstream” media.
But above all, Kosovar Asllani is still a brilliant footballer.
Unique in its own way.
And Sweden should be very grateful for that.
TV: Victory in plaster over Asllani
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