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Dion rocks the Dube, Ron wears nappies

Off The Ball never rests in its mission to scratch around the underbelly of professional football to find the most bizarre, humorous and inexplicable stories.

This week, Dion Dublin rocks the Dube with Ocean Colour Scene, Orlando Pirates walk plank over a porridge attack, St Pauli call up their press officer for a Bundesliga match, Ronaldo wore nappies during the 1999 Copa America and the best/worst cheat you have ever seen.

Luxemburgo: Ronaldo wore nappies during Copa America

After sticking it to Ronaldo for two weeks on the trot, Off The Ball had no intention featuring the recently retired striker once again but then former Brazil boss Vanderlei Luxemburgo revealed that O Fenomeno wore nappies during the Copa America 1999 and it was impossible to resist.

"Ronaldo was already overweight, and we explored every possible way of making him drop some pounds," Luxemburgo told AS. "The [team] doctor gave him medicine, Xenical, which was effective, but it also accelerated his bowel movements. So, in order to avoid any 'incidents,' the player had to wear diapers, which embarrassed him."

It may have been embarrassing but it didn't stop the then Inter Milan striker scoring five goals to scoop the Golden Boot and hand Brazil their sixth Copa America title.

And it could have been worse for Ronaldo, England striker Gary Lineker resorted to wiping his bottom on the pitch ESPN Video following an accident in the trouser department during a match against Ireland at Italia '90.

Pirates could walk plank over porridge attack

Somebody at Olrando Pirates has obviously been watching too much slapstick comedy and has landed the South African club with a date with the Premier Soccer League's disciplinary committee after throwing porridge at a match official.

The Pirates are being charged with spectator misbehaviour and bringing the game into disrepute after one of their supporters lobbed a handful of stodgy porridge, which South Africans commonly eat with most meals, at the referee in a match against the Golden Arrows at the Chatsworth Stadium in January.

In October last year, arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs were handed a suspended 500,000 rand fine after angry fans threw two plastic vuvuzelas and a cabbage onto the pitch during a cup tie to protest refereeing decisions.

The PLS, who will hold the hearing this week, say they could impose "heavy sanctions" on the Pirates, who will be hoping the governing body don't make an oatmeal of it.

Brugge dump keeper after smear campaign

According to the film of the same name, there's not much to do In Brugge, so maybe that's why Club Brugge goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen thought it would be a good idea to wage an internet smear campaign against some of his team-mates. It wasn't. And he's been sacked.

Stijnen, who made over 150 league appearances for the Blauw-Zwart, attempted to undermine his rival goalkeepers on a series of internet message boards by 'anonymously' urging fans to bring banners inscribed with derogatory inscriptions about his colleagues to their matches.

Belgian TV station Sporza reported the 29-year-old launched the campaign through several alias and although the player's girlfriend and brother stepped forward to take the blame, Brugge axed Stijnen after initially relegating him to the B team.

Ironically, the Belgian keeper quit international football in 2009 claiming there was a conspiracy against him.

Dublin rocks the Dube with Ocean Colour Scene

Maybe it was the alignment of the stars, or possibly the full moon, but something caused a bizarre convergence of football and pop music this week with players and managers turning up in the most unlikely of places.

First up, Geordie hell-raiser Andy Carroll swept aside the dark habits of lifetime to take in a sickeningly sweet Boyzone concert alongside 59-year-old Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish to form a mind-boggling trinity Photo Gallery at the Echo Arena.

And then former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin tops that by turning up on stage to play alongside Britpop band Ocean Colour Scene during their hit song You've Got It Bad at the University of East Anglia.

Just to add to the weirdness, Dublin played the Dube - a percussion instrument the former Coventry striker invented himself.

St Pauli call up press officer for Hannover match

Alternative Hamburg side club St Pauli, the anarchists of the German Bundesliga, have called their press officer into the squad for this weekend's clash with Hanover 96 due to a lack of fit defenders.

Hauke Brueckner, 30, received a call from coach Holger Stanislawski who told him to turn up at training "in one hour".

"When I walked into the changing room with my bag, the boys were staring at me, not really believing it," Brueckner said. "They did crack some jokes but I know them well and after that everything was good."

The media officer, who could make his Bundesliga debut this weekend, does actually have a background in football and played 10 games in Germany's second division in the 2002-03 season.


Video of the week

There's always some devious person who is willing to go that extra mile when it comes to cheating, but Chile's Bryan Carrasco donned his best running shoes and galloped into the distance when he came up with this monstrosity. The Chile U20 international attempt to get an opponent sent off by smacking himself in the face. It has to be seen to be believed ESPN Video.


More than words...


Real Madrid loving newspaper AS have been forced to apologise "for the error in the computer graphics" that made it appear that Barcelona's Dani Alves was offside for his goal. ©AS


Around the web

• Forget tactics, it's all about what you wear

• Gattuso not making trip to Tottenham to avoid '37,000 slaps'

• Beckham signs off from Spurs with pie and mash treat

• Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny makes fun of Ashley Cole

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