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Former Bayern talent receives red card after “kung-fu foul”


Many well-known faces from German football now play abroad, largely unnoticed by the German media. In the sport.de limelight today: two former FC Bayern hopefuls who are gaining a foothold in the professional business.

Shortly after his 19th birthday, Meritan Shabani made his professional debut in FC Bayern under the then coach Jupp Heynckes. A good year later, the midfielder was drawn to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premier League for 1.5 million euros – that’s when it ended steep climb.

Since the summer of 2022, the former German junior national player has been playing away from the big football stage with the Swiss first division club Grasshoppers Zurich, where the German-Kosovar finally seems to be able to gain a foothold in the professional business four and a half years after his promising debut.

After Shabani only played for more than 45 minutes twice during his first half-year in Zurich, he has been a regular in the starting line-up since the end of February. The attacking midfielder recently scored two important goals.

The fact that Shabani, who is now 24, is still at the beginning of his professional career is due to a number of severe injury setbacks: After moving to the Premier League, Shabani missed almost the entire season due to a cruciate ligament rupture, and the next injury followed between March 2021 and the end of April 2022 on the cruciate ligament, which put the native of Munich out of action for more than a year.

The result of the severe setbacks: 16 minutes in the League Cup for the Wolves and a moderately successful half-year loan to VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands (7 competitive games/6 bankruptcies).

Former FC Bayern talent becomes “Kung-Fu-Shabani”

Shabani has been doomed to watch again since last Sunday, but this time his body didn’t thwart the former Bayern youngster – Shabani simply blew the fuses in the 3-1 defeat against FC Sion.

In the 39th minute, Shabani hit his opponent Joel Schmid in the center circle with full force with his foot in the face. The right footer, who seemed shocked himself, was the first to receive a yellow card, but after a brief review by the video referee, referee Anojen Kanagasingam corrected his decision and drew a straight red.

As a result, Sion drew 2-0 away from the Italian ex-superstar Mario Balotelli and ultimately won 3-1. Thanks to the three, the guests prevented the fall to the last place in the table, for Zurich, on the other hand, the bankruptcy means a sensitive damper in the fight for participation in European competitions.

Ironing out the slip-up may prove a difficult proposition given Shabani’s absence. It is now clear that the Swiss association “Kung-Fu-Shabani”, as “Sport.ch” headlined, has withdrawn three games for his offence.

Former Bayern keeper with “simply bitter” draw

Shabani completed large parts of his journey side by side with Christian Früchtl. The keeper played for years with Shabani for the youth team at FC Bayern, was also in the professional squad for a few seasons and only played a few minutes in the Bundesliga team.

In 2022, the 23-year-old then decided to leave Munich in order to finally get a regular place. A project that succeeded in the ranks of the Austrian Bundesliga club Austria Wien. Früchtl has played 35 out of a possible 36 games for the “Violets” since his move.

Most recently, however, Früchtl and Co. had to put up with a setback. In the city derby against Rapid Vienna, Austria conceded the 3:3 equalizer shortly before the end. In the current championship round of the Austrian league, the violets are likely to miss the two missed points. The gap to third place, which entitles them to qualify for the Europa Conference League, is currently five points.

Striking: In the third game of the championship round, Austria lost a lead for the third time. All games ended in draws.

“Simply bitter!” Früchtl commented to “ViolaTV” after the game. “Eleven against ten we just have to drive it home.” The disappointment outweighs the disappointment, although you are still undefeated in the championship round, you should have scored nine points.

Marc Affeldt

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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