Photo Credit: Bundesliga
After ascending to a player recognized amongst the soccer world as world-class, in 2019 Lucas Hernandez said goodbye to his former club, Atletico Madrid (“Atleti”), after 6 seasons and joined the German giants, Bayern Munich. Despite leaving Madrid in the rearview mirror, Madrid did not forget Lucas Hernandez, or more so his troubling actions. While still starring at left-back for Atleti in 2017, Hernandez and then fiancée, Amelia Ossa Llorente engaged in a heated confrontation which led to Ms. Llorente’s subsequent hospitalization to treat minor injuries. Despite not pressing charges herself, due to the extent of the injuries suffered, the Spanish government successfully convicted Hernandez on charges of domestic violence.
In spite of serving 31 days of “community service for violence, assault, and damage to property,” Hernandez could not stay away, as he received a six-month suspended sentence in 2019 for breaking the restraining order. Hernandez and Llorente got married shortly after the incident and took a honeymoon, upon which Hernandez evidently broke the restriction ordering him to remain 500 meters away from Llorente. With punishment looming, perhaps this helped inspire Hernandez’s move to Bayern. Nevertheless, Hernandez was not able to outrun neither the law nor his reprehensible actions, as “the 32nd Criminal Court in Madrid ordered the imprisonment of . . . Hernandez.” Despite the reported reconciliation between Hernandez and Llorente, the Spanish court seeks to hold Hernandez accountable for his violation of the restraining order to the fullest extent.
Under the Spanish legal system, a restraining order prevents the accused from going within a certain distance of the alleged victim, including the alleged victim’s house, place of work, or locations where he/she regularly frequents. Such an order, therefore, bars face-to-face communication, which Hernandez violated by taking Llorente on a honeymoon after the assault. A violation of the order is regarded as a criminal offense for which the punishment is a prison sentence; a legal standard from which the Spanish court does not intend to depart for the sake of Hernandez’s playing career.
Although Bayern will not fret securing their decade of dominance with a 10th straight Bundesliga title, the club no doubt has its sights set on the greatest prize club soccer has to offer – the UEFA Champions League. After lifting the trophy in 2019, Hernandez’s first year with the squad, he has emerged as a crucial member of the team. In spite of the dread surrounding potentially losing Hernandez for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign, Bayern will not worry much, as they have one of the world’s premier defensive players, Canadian international Alphonso Davies, ready and able to go. However, Davies will no doubt need another left-back to help fill Hernandez’s shoes. The man for the job at the moment is English international, Omar Richards. Though Richards is a promising prospect, he has only played two games for Bayern, and so the club may wish to bring in another player in the winter transfer window if Richards performs poorly. Yet, for now, Bayern will surely cling to every bit of hope that Hernandez will somehow find a way out of this. One thing is for sure though, Hernandez’s homecoming to Madrid is certainly not the one he anticipated.
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