Can you imagine an NBA ref chasing down Zion Williamson for an autograph after a game??
That's pretty much what happened after a Champions League match on Tuesday ... when a ref ran after 20-year-old Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland -- and got him to sign his yellow card!!
The whole interaction was caught on video after Dortmund's 1-2 loss to Manchester City ... with assistant ref Octavian Sovre tailing the striker as he headed to the locker room.
A referee’s assistant should not be asking a player for autographs after a match in the tunnel as happened with Haaland.UEFA won’t want to see this surely pic.twitter.com/nA94n3k27W— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 6, 2021
A referee’s assistant should not be asking a player for autographs after a match in the tunnel as happened with Haaland.UEFA won’t want to see this surely pic.twitter.com/nA94n3k27W
In the footage, Sovre catches up with Haaland, whips out his card and a pen and asks for a quick John Hancock ... and the BVB star obliges!!
Of course, Haaland is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the sport ... and all the top soccer clubs are lining up in hopes to sign the guy.
In fact, the Norwegian striker has 10 Champions League goals and 21 more Bundesliga goals.
While a Haaland auto is understandably in high demand, Sovre's move has been criticized as unprofessional ... and some folks are pissed.
But, Man City manager Pep Guardiola defended the ref ... saying, "Maybe he's a fan. Why not? The referees were brilliant, the game was not a problem."
"And after, maybe [the autograph] was for his son or daughter, I don't know," Guardiola continued.
"I've never seen it before but it's happened. Listen, they did a good job so that's it. Nothing happened."
One thing's for sure ... ya can't knock the ref's hustle!!