Weekend Soccer Wrap: The New Normal

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Is this the new normal? Actually, what the hell is the new normal? No crowds, players in masks, announcers calling from their own lounge rooms?

World football is slowly coming back, with the Bundesliga and K League the most prestigious leagues up and running. But we’re a far cry from normality if you watched any soccer last weekend.

Here’s a quick wrap on five things making news in the world of iso soccer.

1. Lewandowski living large

In his first game back from the break, Robert Lewandowski, the Bundesliga’s leading scorer, hit the back of the net for his 40th goal of the season. That’s the 5th consecutive time he’s reached that mark in a season, a feat only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have accomplished.

2. Blow Up in Korea

We’ve seen ‘artificial’ fans in the stands at Belarusian soccer matches and Taiwanese baseball games. K League club Seoul FC tried to get in on the action, but didn’t quite get it right.

3. He’ll have to take a Reyna cheque

Dortmund’s American starlet Gio Reyna was handed his first start against Schalke on Saturday night. But he injured himself in warmups and missed the opportunity.

4. The new normal

Anyone else hate that phrase as much as I do? Unfortunately saying the new normal has become the new normal. And players wearing masks and social distancing on the bench is part of it.

5. Next League Up

Belarus, Turkmenistan, Taiwan, the K League and the German Bundesliga are up and running. The Danish Superliga and the Austrian Bundesliga are two of a few more preparing to start. And guess what? They’re playing in the Faroe Islands, where the quality may not be top notch, but the grounds certainly are.

Honourable Mention

When the Belarusian Premier League was the only soccer competition going, people scrambled to learn about the league. Most fans had heard of BATE Borisov and their regular appearances in the Champions League, but their poor start – coupled with the cult following of hot-starting Slutsk – took the shine off BATE. But now the 15-time champions are back on track, atop the table and unbeaten in their last seven matches.

All soccer markets here.

What do you think?