The Brazilian soccer player Kerlon might not be a household name yet, but if he keeps things up, that will change. Kerlon has come up with a new move that has confounded, and infuriated his opponents. He's been using the "seal dribble."
You know the move. Kerlon bobs the ball on his head like a seal as he runs up the field. With the ball up above, defenders have had a hard time stopping him without fouling him. And in soccer, when you can't stop someone, you get angry.
Some players say the move is disrespectful because it breaks soccer's unwritten code. They contend Kerlon uses the move to show off, not to score goals.Kerlon is unapologetic, saying it will take a rule change for him to stop. His opponents are taking measures into their own hands though, and their anger resulted in a nationally televised brawl last Sunday.
"It is a provocation. He may have to be sidelined for several years if he gets kicked in the face," said Emerson Leao, the former Brazil goalkeeper and current Atletico Mineiro coach. "I hope that never happens."
Shortly after Cruzeiro took the lead for good, Kerlon decided to try the move. He bounced the ball on his head three times before Atletico defender Coelho leveled him with a hard tackle.Kerlon has the full support of his club, and Coelho is looking at a large suspension for his hit. Rather than get angry, why don't his opponents try the move themselves, or try out a new move. Has anyone tried the "otter dribble" yet? The "manatee move" could work too.
Atletico players charged Kerlon, screaming at him and accusing him of provoking them with the dribble. Kerlon's teammates came to his rescue, but the scuffle lasted several minutes. Coelho was ejected because of the foul.
"What Kerlon did was not right," Atletico striker Marinho said. "We know he is a skillful player, but I think it would be wrong even if he was playing for us."
Most avenues to get ahead in sports often seem to rely on cheating and illegalities. Kerlon's tactics are legal, and ingenious. He's found a way to best the competition within the rules of the game. Rather than ending in a scandal, Kerlon's seal dribble just leaves you with a smile.