BERLIN (AFP) – A group of RB Leipzig stars has been slammed as ‘decadent’ by a senior figure at the Bundesliga leaders for bringing a celebrity barber over from England to give haircuts before their shock defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend.
Head of Sport and Development Soccer for the club’s chief sponsors Red Bull Ralf Rangnick was left fuming after star hairdresser Sheldon Edwards was flown over by members of the squad to give haircuts at the team hotel in Frankfurt before last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat.
Second-half goals by Almamy Toure and Filip Kostic in Frankfurt saw Leipzig lose for the first time since October and their lead in the German league table was slashed to just a point.
Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted by questioning whether his team wanted to win the Bundesliga title enough.
Rangnick has ripped into the group of nine players, which German daily Bild said includes regulars Yussuf Poulsen, Christopher Nkunku and Patrik Schick, for the ‘decadent’ pre-match haircut.
“I would have bet EUR100,000 (USD110,035) that our players would not have had a star hairdresser flown in from England to have their hair done in a hotel,” an angry Rangnick told reporters on Tuesday.
“I would have lost that EUR100,000 bet.
“The 2-0 defeat was annoying enough, the hairdresser story leaves me stunned.
“That is decadent.
“It’s not far off the golden steak,” Rangnick added, referring to the furore last January when former France and Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery ate an expensive steak covered in gold leaf at the Dubai restaurant owned by celebrity Turkish restauranteur Salt Bae.
Leipzig’s Sports Director Markus Kroesche told Bild the issue of the celebrity haircuts had been addressed internally.
“Of course, it’s unfortunate, because we pay a lot of attention to staying grounded at this club,” he said.
“But it certainly wasn’t because of a visit by a hairdresser to the team hotel that we lost the game in Frankfurt. The players realise it wasn’t a good decision.”
This is not the first time Bundesliga stars have been in trouble for having trims by London barber Edwards, who counts Usain Bolt and Raheem Sterling among his clients and, for a while, flew to Rome every week to cut Radja Nainggolan’s hair.