Solveig and Hegerberg, the greatest game never played and the week’s best sportswriting

Olympique Lyonnais’ Ada Hegerberg celebrates with the Women’s Ballon d’Or award.

Source: AP/PA Images

1. “It won’t have been pleasant having to do this even at one of the very highest points of her professional career so far, but it certainly won’t have been unfamiliar. Not making dickheads feel like dickheads is one of the earliest ingrained lessons.

As for Solveig, he has apologised “to anyone who may have been offended”, which as everyone knows is the boilerplate non-apology. He went on to say: “People who have followed me for 20 years know how respectful I am especially with women.”

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That “especially” is a bit of a tell. Why would you be any more respectful with women than with men, unless you thought there was something patronisably different about them?”

‘Martin Solveig says he is ‘especially’ respectful with women. What a twerk,’ writes Martina Hyde for The Guardian.

2. “You all know Mullinalaghta or at least a place like it, the Irish village with a church, school, graveyard and pub. A couple of years ago, you would have mentioned its grocers and post office, too, in the days before maroon and white bunting hung across the street and a clapped out old car, painted in the colours of the local football club, was parked at the crossroads.” 

Mullinalaghta’s Conan Brady and Aidan McElligott.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Garry Doyle pens the story of Longford’s Mullinalaghta for The Times.

3. “He even handed over a list of names to make it easier to plead their case. A ridiculous ask, that didn’t stop Ali turning up in Tel Aviv four months later requesting the “freeing of his Muslim brothers” from Atlit detention camp.

A trip to the most dangerous city on earth – a daily ceasefire existed in Beirut until midday so women could get home safely from the markets – and a bit-part in the Middle Eastern morass, had been suggested to Ali by a most unlikely source.”

The Irish Times’ Dave Hannigan wrote about how Muhammad Ali’s hostage negotiating led to an unlikely friendship.

4. “Two River fans sat next to me in the last row. They talked softly to themselves, but my translator could hear.

“This could change my day so much,” one said.

His friend looked at him.

“No,” he replied. “My life.”

He paused.

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“I went to the psychologist Friday and only talked about this,” he said.”

ESPN’s Wright Thompson wrote an incredible, in-depth piece this week surrounding that Boca Juniors and River Plate ‘greatest game never played’.

River Plate fans.

Source: Diego Martinez

5. “And that’s the thing about social media. Moral outrage is the cheapest commodity going. Quickly it becomes a race to be the most offended and have the hottest take on the issue.

Scroll through the timelines and it’s rare you feel like many of those moralising about the struggles of women in sport actually care too much about the subject.

It is simply the topic du jour and the next incensed tweet could be about celebrities in the jungle or their dinner that night. How many of those bemoaning the ongoing struggle for recognition on social media over the past few days are actually willing to get involved to help take women’s sport to a higher plane?”

The Irish Independent’s Donnachadh Boyle wrote an interesting column around the Ada Hegerberg Ballon D’Or incident. 

6. “‘Her smile is infectious. When I think of a Monday night gym session in January, I can see Sinead Goldrick coming in there and she’s beaming and subliminally it helps lift everyone, no matter what their day has been like. And then she’ll give everything she has to that session — in fact at times you have to rein her in because she’d go through the wall for the team. But the young players are seeing all this. ‘That’s Sinead Goldrick, that’s my aspiration, I’ll follow that example.’ Everything about her is 100%.’

Sinead Goldrick.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Yet this time two years ago Goldrick wasn’t smiling. The girl renowned for giving it her all felt she had no more to give. The girl who it seemed could run all day was running on empty. No sooner had Robinson and Mick Bohan landed the Dublin job then they were informed they mightn’t get to work with her at all.”

The Irish Examiner’s Kieran Shannon focused on Dublin and Foxrock-Cabinteely star Sinead Goldrick ahead of the All-Ireland club final yesterday.

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