When he arrived in Greece, we caught ourselves laughing at him, ready to generate some nice jokes and create new Twitter hashtags about his “achievements”. But Roy Caroll didn’t come for holidays in Crete. He came for football. And today, four months after his arrival, he is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Greek Superleague, and recognized as the leader of OFI Crete, one of the surprises of the league.
During the preseason matches, the Northern Irish golie wasn’t ready. So we did run to a conclusion that he is not even fit enough to play football pro, even in Greece. But he was. After 11 appearances, he already has to show some of the greatest saves in the league, some “MVP” awards given by the media, and a lot of medals from teammates and opponents, who both recognize that Caroll, at his 34, is the key player of OFI, the coach in the pitch, the real captain of the team.
Caroll often called to give an answer to the most frequently asked question from Greek media about the cause of his decision to visit Crete for business and not only for pleasure. He simply answers that he was honored and attracted by the offer and the project. He is not telling the whole truth. His body language, his shape, his saves and his spirit tell that he game to Greece to feel important again. And he already did it. Number 3 in saves’ statistics, number one in transfertalk for the biggest Greek clubs, Caroll forced Greeks to make some hashtags in football’s timeline to show respect, not pity on him.