A group of Borussia Dortmund stars have been slammed in the media and criticised by club bosses after inviting a celebrity barber to the team hotel on the eve of their Champions League mauling by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
Bundesliga leaders Dortmund face a mountain to climb in the return on March 5 after an error-strewn second-half display saw them lose 3-0 to Tottenham in the last 16, first leg in London on Wednesday.
In the wake of the defeat, stars Axel Witsel, Raphael Guerreiro, Dan-Axel Zagadou, Abdou Diallo and Jacob Bruun Larsen have been sharply criticised for inviting celebrity barber, London-based Sheldon Edwards, to the team hotel in Wembley to cut their hair.
Edwards has flown to Dortmund in the past to cut the squad's hair and the Londoner has also given a trim to athletics legend Usain Bolt, plus several Premier League stars such as Manchester City trio Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy.
"Today we have another generation of players who are preparing (for matches) differently from how I did. That said, it shouldn't have happened and it won't happen again," said sporting director Michael Zorc, who made more than 500 appearances for Dortmund as a midfielder and played for Germany in the 1990s.
According to reports, the club was not aware of the barber's visit to the team hotel so close to an important match.
"These millionaire footballers should have their heads washed by the club bosses. Such aloof behaviour puts their fans off as much as a defeat on the pitch," fumed Germany's top-selling daily Bild.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke played down the mini-scandal, but admitted the club will speak to the players involved.
"Of course, a haircut has no effect on the performance of the team. The reasons for the defeat lay in the sporting arena and we have to analyse them directly. The fact that the defeat leads to a visit from a hairdresser being viewed more critically by the media is clear. That's why Michael Zorc and Sebastian Kehl (team manager) will be working on the topic with the appropriate players," said Watzke.
The squad's professionalism was criticised in the German media before the team even flew from Dortmund after their plane was delayed because Jadon Sancho and Diallo forgot their passports and Omer Toprak lost his boarding pass.
As Bild points out, Dortmund's barber scandal is the latest in a line of recent ill-advised indiscretions involving wealthy Bundesliga footballers.
After Germany crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group phase, it emerged the internet had to be switched off at the team hotel at nights to prevent the squad playing computer games into the small hours.
Last month, Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery was "heavily fined" by the defending Bundesliga champions for a foul-mouthed response to critics after he posted a picture on social media eating a gold-plated steak.
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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2019 18:42:24 IST