C-Ron's curse and coach bares all
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, Anders Lindegaard claims he didn't sign for Manchester United just to pick his nose, Trujillo coach Horacio Baldessari drops his trousers on TV, Cristiano Ronaldo claims opponents kick him because he's "rich and handsome" and Joe Cole serenades Lille.
Peruvian coach drops trouser on TV
Horacio 'La Pepa' Baldessari, the controversial coach of Peruvian club Trujillo, likes to express himself in unconventional ways and insisted this week that he had "no regrets" after dropping his trousers on live TV and wiping his arse with a bundle of cash he claimed he had been offered as a bribe.
La Pepa pulled the crazy stunt at a press conference after claiming that his goalkeeper Victor Ulloa had been approached to throw a match in the Copa Peru.
Incensed, Baldessari addressed the nation's media sat behind a table with the money spread in front of him and railed at the unscrupulous match fixers who "threatened" him and his team before baring his bum to use the banknotes as mock toilet paper.
Unfortunately, all Baldessari's colourful show achieved was a suspension for gross vulgarity from the Peruvian Football Federation. The Trujillo coach claimed the ban was simply an attempt to shift the attention from his allegations. "My ass is not the issue here," Baldessari is quoted as saying in The Guardian.
C-Ron cursed with good looks
Modesty is a concept that's as alien to Cristiano Ronaldo as staying on his feet in the penalty area and this week the wax-chested one claimed the reason he was kicked and "mauled" during Real Madrid's clash with Dinamo Zagreb was because the opposing players were jealous of his good looks and bulging wallet.
Following Real's 2-0 win in Zagreb, C-Ron was asked why he thought was singled out and said: "I think it's because I'm rich, handsome and a great player. They envy me - there's no other explanation."
Hmm... Off The Ball suspects it's because Ronaldo says things like "I'm rich and handsome" rather than the fact that he actually is prosperous and personable that he receives the rough-house treatment.
To be fair to Ronaldo, he did end the match at the Maksimir Stadium with a bloody ankle injury that required stitches following a challenge by Jerko Leko , but at least the handsome devil had the last laugh as he sauntered off to his Madrid mansion with all three points in his expensive suit pocket.
Lindegaard: I'm not here to pick my nose
Believe it or not, Off The Ball once had a long, and probably drunken, discussion with a Danish colleague about the difference between English and Scandinavian sayings - for "don't count your chickens before they hatch" read "don't sell the skin before you've killed the bear" - but at no point did any reference to nose-picking occur.
Step forward Manchester United's Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who, when asked if he had designs on claiming the regular No. 1 spot from David De Gea after a hugely impressive performance between the sticks in the Red Devils' Champions League opener against Benfica, sighed and said for the 1,001st time...
"I have said one thousand times before - I am not here to pick my nose. Although I came from a small team in Norway called Aalesunds, I am here because I want to play, not because I want to sit on the bench."
Luckily for Lindegaard's nostrils, the 27-year-old has only been on the bench for 11 competitive matches since his switch to Old Trafford in January, but it would be intriguing to witness how the logistics of bogey extraction pan out with those massive goalkeeping gloves on.
Footballer turns pornstar
Given the traditional lack of tolerance towards homosexuality in football, it's tough for players to openly admit they are gay, so when Jonathan De Falco finally decided he'd had enough of living life in the closet he came out in spectacular fashion - as gay pornstar Stany Falcone.
In a candid interview, the former Racing Mechelen and Oud-Heverlee Leuven midfielder said that, at 27 years old, it was time to live life for himself.
"I felt more and more content with who I really was," De Falco told the Antwerp Gazette. "I had to really go on, but after a conversation with the club, we agreed that I should leave the club earlier and I would change my life."
Unfortunately, the adult film star also had a word of warning for other footballers thinking of coming out in the sport. "The football world is not ready for gay players. There is too much prejudice and generally low tolerance," he said. "If my orientation would have been known, there would have undoubtedly been problems."
Video of the week
Remember Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge's back-heel goal against Sunderland at the weekend? Well, his cheeky piece of skill has been given the chelsea2d treatment so you can view it in old school computer graphics... think a souped-up version of Emlyn Hughes International Soccer . Click here .
More than words...
Inter duo Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso can't believe they have just been beaten at home by Champions League minnows Trabzonspor.
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