Well Merry Christmas to you, it’s Mellberg time.
I’ve been an admirer of Olof for many years now since the 2002 World Cup, where he had to be separated from Freddy Ljungberg after fighting in training. Olof had put in a meaty challenge, and Ljungberg’s beard jealousy overflowed. They also argued at the 2006 World Cup, and Mellberg later relinquished the captaincy.At 25, he was only at the beginning of a beard journey.
Mellberg has always been a bit of a bad boy, and was sent home along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Wilhelmsson after breaking a curfew. What a great night out that sounds like!
He played the largest chunk of his career at Aston Villa, playing 232 games and becoming a club legend. On his final game for Villa against West Ham in 2008, he gave every single fan at Upton Park a replica shirt with his name and number on the back.
The beard was now in full flow. Thick, manly and rugged. Classic Scandinavian lumberjack look about him.
At the age of 36, he’s still banging in important goals for Copenhagen in the Champions League.
Olof Mellberg. We wish we were you.