‘Impossible not to love this villain’ – Kosovar cult hero seduces Spain
Few players are having as much fun as Vedat Muriqi this season and few fans enjoy a player as much as Mallorca are their giant target. The 28-year-old now has five goals in his last five games after scoring the winner against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, lifting him into second place in the goalscoring charts, behind only Robert Lewandowski.
Ahead of their game against Villarreal, Mallorca manager Javier Aguirre paid a typically one-time supplement to his star striker.
“Considering his ugliness, he plays very good football.”
Muriqi arrived on loan at Mallorca last January and revitalized the team, leading them to safety alongside Aguirre. During the summer, Mallorca made an effort to keep him, paying €10m for him.
However, it seems to be paying off. Following their 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, Mallorca sit 10th in the table. Aguirre was full of praise for his star striker, extolling his defensive work rate as much as his attacking output. Diario AS made his comments.
“This guy landed on his feet in the winter. People love him, but it’s impossible not to love this villain. As big as he is, he has a huge heart.
Talk to RadiostadiumMuriqi did not deny his manager’s assessment.
“Yes, well, he’s right. I am very ugly. But I’m also a bit attractive, aren’t I?
Muriqi spoke good Spanish, although he had only been in the country for seven months. He explained that the people of Mallorca took him to their hearts and sometimes he was not even allowed to pay for his drinks.
The interview took a more serious turn as they moved on to his upbringing in war-torn Kosovo. Muriqi explained that he worked as a waiter and at a grill growing up – “In Kosovo, children started working from the age of nine.”
He was then questioned about the war in Ukraine, having lived through the war himself.
“It’s very bad, people always try to encourage them in Ukraine, but people can’t imagine what it is, the war in Ukraine is very bad.”
“We in Kosovo already have this fear, it’s crazy. The things I saw, it’s crazy, no one should see these things, not a single human should see them, let alone children. I hope the whole world can live in peace.
As if Muriqi wasn’t already getting a lot of affection from the locals, he also talked about retiring to Mallorca. The synthesis between the two is an invaluable thing in football. Club and player seem to feed off each other. Nicknamed the Pirate, Muriqi stole the heart of the good ship Mallorca.