Former Sunderland and Reading midfielder David Meyler has been making a name for himself on the world stage this weekend, despite retiring in the summer.
Meyler, who is known by many for being the subject of a headbutt from Alan Pardew, was forced to retire from the game in August. He had a strong career, twice winning promotion to the Premier League with Hull City, as well as appearing in the 2014 FA Cup Final, but an injury in his right knee curtailed his career at the age of 30.
Meyler remained in the game after retiring, but in a very modern way. Instead of going into coaching or management, he became a professional FIFA player and this weekend he ranked an incredible fourth in the world, with a 30-0 win record. For such a high-profile former professional to rank this highly is incredibly impressive and a few league teams might be wishing they had Meyler registered as a player, despite being unable to appear on a real pitch.
League One and Two clubs have been taking part in tournaments recently, with both the Ultimate Quaranteam Cup and the Stay Intertoto Cup being played out for fans. Our teams didn’t fare well, Wolves been Dutch side Groningen in the former, with French side Lorient easing past Charlton in the final for the latter.
Mansfield Town were the only side from our ranks to make the last 16 of the Ultimate QuaranTeam tournament, although it was arranged by Leyton Orient. Cameron McGilp, representing Swindon Town, took his side to the semi-finals of the Stay Intertoto Cup, only to go out to eventual runners up, Groningen.
Had Sunderland perhaps had David Meyler in their ranks, they might have enjoyed some respite from the struggles on the field with a piece of silverware off it during these troubled times. Who knows, perhaps Meyler’s chances of representing one of the world’s biggest clubs didn’t pass him by when he retired and maybe eSports giants such as Barcelona or Paris St Germain could come knocking soon!