WORDS: DOMINIC BLISS
The tower under the Maratona, Kamil Glik is an imposing opponent at the heart of the Torino defence at the best of times, but his no-nonsense approach has seen him become the subject of a hip-hop track about his no-nonsense approach and the contrast it paints next to the hair-wax heroes he marks…
As Torino and Fiorentina played out a surprisingly intriguing 0-0 draw under the magnificently imposing Maratona tower at the Stadio Olimpico today, there was one towering performance on the pitch that stood out above all the rest.
In the glow of the midday winter sun, every player cast a long shadow onto the wet grass in Turin, but it was Kamil Glik’s who loomed largest as Vincenzo Montella’s usually vibrant and inventive Viola side failed to find a way of breaking down the Granata defence.
Torino have an almost passive-aggressive approach when they are underdogs, sitting off and holding their shape without really thrusting themselves in the faces of their opponents or unnecessarily harrying themselves. It is on the break that they do their damage, through the explosive, tireless Alessio Cerci, however Glik is perhaps the one Toro man who doesn’t do passive. He does, however, fulfil the other half of the bargain, for aggression is part of his image.
As the buzzing Fiorentina creators – among them Joaquin, Juan Cuadrado and Josip Ilicic – tried to find the gaps in the home side’s backline, they continually found Glik in the way. He threw his head, his chest, his thighs and his feet at every cross, every through ball and every runner, and he ensured that a team that is always well drilled by their wily, experienced coach, Giampiero Ventura, was always marshalled to perfection.
Considering the problems that so many Premier League sides are currently having as they strive to achieve the same levels of organisation, it is probably surprising that we haven’t heard Glik’s name mentioned more widely by the rumour-mongering press. But I suppose he just doesn’t make for exciting headlines.
What he does make for – however – is eye-opening hip-hop music (bear with me on this).
As I took to Twitter to wonder out loud why the Polish hard man had not received more regular praise, I was met with one or two comments about his performance levels and how this solid display against Fiorentina was arguable his best so far in 2013/14. However, I was also met with the indignation of a certain Paul Reynolds (@PaulFedayn) who pointed out that Glik had received quite enough plaudits recently – he even had his own song!
Sure enough, he does, with its own uniquely charming video, that appears to be set in the Italian equivalent of a Power League five-a-side pitch, where sinister Ultras gesture at the camera while Willie Peyote spits lyrics about the 25-year-old centre-back who signed for Torino in one of those complicated co-ownership agreements (this time with Palermo) back in 2011.
“We stay hardcore like Kamil Glik!” raps Peyote, the curly haired, bespectacled figure who fronts up to the camera, with his serious face in line with the no-nonsense subject of his fiery ode. Meanwhile, cutaways of men making studs-up and chest-high challenges are thrust in your face like the elbows they are flinging in the other shots. But what Peyote really loves about his man is the lake of fake that surrounds his approach, unlike the modern-day football “Gods” who “touch the ball, then fix their hair.”
“Fuck the radical chic, stay hardcore like Kamil Glik!”