Kolasinac’s astounding bravery is a reminder that life extends beyond the football bubble

Every now and then something happens in football that transcends the game.

Something impactful or profound that makes you sit back for a moment, popping the bubble of football fandom that you find yourself trapped in for weeks and months on end.

Engrossed in the endless, year-round footballing circus, it is so easy to forget that players are simple humans, and that life goes on for them day-to-day just as it does for the rest of us.

These men and women experience pain, tragedy, loss, and trauma just as readily as you or I, and they can be just as easily affected by the circumstances of life as John and Jane Smith from Normal Street, in Normalville.

I am referring, of course, to the incredible footage of Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil caught up in an attempted car-jacking in Golders Green, London, on Thursday.

While the rest of us were peeling ourselves off faux-leather furniture with a considerable degree of sweaty disgust [god, wasn’t it hot?], the two Arsenal players were accosted by a gang of knife-wielding thugs, intent on making off with an expensive car, jewellery, and cash.

It was undoubtedly a horrible ordeal for the two men but the story that emerged from within the story was the heroics of Kolasinac.

In an unbelievable act of selflessness, the Bosnian confronted the helmet-wearing thugs and, in essence, chased them off.

Armed with nothing more than his fists, and putting himself in a shockingly vulnerable position, the Arsenal full back chased, cajoled, and harried the attackers, showing scant regard for his own safety as he sought a method of escape for himself and Ozil.

Rightly so, the praise for Kolasinac has been universal, the admiration for his bravery fulsome.

So many of us would have simply given up the car, or handed over a watch or two, but not Kolasinac. His first thought was for protecting his friend and his property, of denying the cowardly thugs the easy pickings they craved.

While it may not have been wise, given the sizeable knives the would-be raiders appeared to be carrying, it was an astonishing act of bravery from a man whose reputation is well-earned and will now have been enhanced into Arsenal club folklore.

Perhaps he will never be the world’s greatest footballer but he has shown himself to be a great man and reminded us all that, when the final whistle blows and the floodlights are turned off, footballers are just ordinary people like us.

And, like us, there are extraordinary people among them.

So, amid all the hubbub and white noise of the summer transfer window, take a moment – as I will – to reflect on an incredible moment and an incredible man. It is easy to forget that there is more to life than football but it’s moments like this that remind us.

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