When you play in the Bundesliga, you don't get many chances to share the pitch with Lionel Messi, so Bayer Leverkusen's Michael Kadlec and Manuel Friedrich wasted no time in trying to snag Messi's shirts during the first leg of their side's Champions League tie against Barcelona. And now Bayer sporting director Rudi Voeller, himself a legendary footballer, is intent on punishing the two players for what he saw as an overzealous schoolboy pursuit of a fellow professional's shirt.
Defender Michal Kadlec, who scored the Germans' only goal in their round of 16 first leg defeat, had sought the Argentine player's top at halftime but was beaten to it in the tunnel by fellow defender Manuel Friedrich.
Kadlec then got Messi's shirt at the end of the match, much to the irritation of Voeller. [...]
"I can guarantee you that these two players will auction off the tops for a good cause," Voeller told Bild newspaper on Thursday.
"What they did was too much of a good thing. I have not yet spoken with them but I will do it," the 1990 World Cup winner said.
So what will Voeller tell the 27-year-old Kadlec and 32-year-old Friedrich? Probably something along the lines of, "Act like you've been there before." Or maybe, "Why have you never asked for my shirt like that? I scored three goals at Italia '90!"
Anyway, by making the players auction off the shirts it just means the fight for Messi shirts during the second leg will be even more intense. Leo might need a bodyguard.