Appearances can often be deceiving or even first impressions for that matter, and there’s no better example of this than Football players.
While some players flaunt their lives openly, others prefer to keep it low-key, and some even turn into enigmas.
Chelsea’s winter recruit Mykhaylo Mudryk is one such enigma, despite being relatively active on social media, there’s still a ton of mystery surrounding the player.
This is primarily a result of his spell in Ukrainian Football’s top flight, a league which is far from popular among global audiences.
Most fans haven’t seen the forward week-in-week-out, and due to this, there is still plenty of confusion regarding Mudryk’s style of play.
The £89m signing hasn’t exactly cleared the doubts with his performances either, barring a bright cameo against Liverpool, Mudryk has been relatively ineffective during his appearances for Chelsea.
Leaving aside the obscurity surrounding his playing style, fans are also largely in the dark about the player’s personality.
Based on his social media activity, fans online have been able to surmise that Mudryk loves his anime like he loves his weightlifting, but what else?
They received further insight into the Ukrainian’s life recently, and it once again came through a social media upload by the forward.
Mudryk took to Instagram to show his support for former teammate Anatoliy Trubin, who saved a crucial penalty allowing Shakhtar to progress to the next round of the Europa League.
What appeared to be a pretty straightforward clip at first glance turned out to be extremely interesting on closer inspection, as eagle-eyed fans online made an intriguing discovery.
They noticed the book placed on Mudryk’s table, the title of which read ‘The Shock Doctrine’.
Authored by Naomi Klein, the book takes a deep dive into ‘free market’ policies and how neo-liberal economic policies are pushed through during periods of national crisis.
It argues that these periods of ‘shock’ are exploited, distracting the collective consciousness and allowing for questionable policies to be established.
Klein’s work is a fascinating read for political and economic scholars alike, but it certainly isn’t the first book that springs to mind when you think of a Footballer’s reading list.
This is especially the case for Mudryk: a young, popular player with neck tattoos who grew to fame through freestyle Football clips on social media.
These traits certainly don’t fit the academically curious type, but perhaps we were too hasty with our judgment.
We weren’t alone in being surprised either, as fans online were of the same opinion, Mudryk’s reading choice caught everyone off-guard.
While we’ll likely never get a clear-cut reason behind the forward’s pick, there were some suggestions that Mudryk is simply staying informed.
Klein’s book centers around man-made distractions, such as wars, which facilitate the approval of dubious policies.
A major conflict currently raging in Europe concerns Mudryk’s homeland of Ukraine and its invasion by Russian forces.
A full-scale invasion such as this can be categorized as a period of ‘shock’, not unlike the Iraq War as cited in the book itself.
With attention diverted elsewhere, the situation can possibly be exploited.
Users online suggested that the forward is aware of this possibility and simply reading up on it to stay out of the dark, which is certainly a wise choice.
Of course, this is all speculation, but perhaps this is indeed a connection there.