Happy new year folks. Hope you enjoyed your holidays.
Since we have just gotten out of holiday season and most of us are feeling a little blue, I thought my first blog of the year should be a tard light hearted. In this spirit, I present the zany antics of some truly insane footballers. If you thought Mario Balotelli was insane, take a quick read. I am here to tell you that Balotelli isn't as crazy as he is made out to be. He just plays football in an era devoid of flamboyant characters. Take a look at the chaps below, they make Mario seem like Santa. They don't make them like this anymore.
Edmundo ‘The Animal’
From the man’s nickname, one can tell he was a bit bat-s**t crazy. He was also immensely talented, in a way only Brazilians can be. He and Brazilian legend Romario were what today’s teens would call ‘Frenemies’. They partied hard together, played on various teams together; and fell out as many times as Blair and Serena on the show ‘Gossip Girl’(you’re all going to front but you know these people. You don’t have to watch the show to know them) To save some time I will list just a few of his misdemeanours;
He had it written into his Fiorentina contract that he was allowed to go to The Brazilian Carnival regardless of circumstances. He chose to leave for Brazil when Gabriel Batistuta was injured and the Viola were relying on him to crank up their Serie A chase in 1997.
The Animal hosted a birthday party at his house were he hired an entire circus; and was pictured feeding a chimpanzee, champaigne and whisky. This didn’t go down well with animal rights groups that naturally staged protests which he naturally didn't give a toss about.
|You thought I was kidding, right?|
He was also convicted of drunk driving and manslaughter after being involved in a car accident where 3 people were killed. He was sentenced, like most rich famous people, to a prison sentence which obliged him to spend nights in prison; and days free. Of course this interfered with his night life and he fought to have the sentence revoked.
Igor Denisov is a Russian international and the club captain of Russian super rich club, Zenit St. Petersburg. He has made a reputation as the ultimate bad boy of Russian football. He is the only active player I can think who could find himself on such a list. He most recently came to the mainstream light when he went on strike, demand a contract re-negotiation, after Zenit signed Hulk and Axle Wiestle and made them the club’s highest earners, surpassing Denisov himself.
Before his strike, most people outside Russia didn’t know about his numerous antics. His rap sheet reads as follows; His views are said to be the reference point of the posting on Zenit’s website, by the clubs Ultras, stating the club should not sign black or gay players and should sign only Russians, and/or players from fellow Slavic nations.
|He really does look like an Ultra|
In 2010, he attacked his coach, in training, and had to be restrained by teammates before he could knock his lights out; Months later, he attacked an opposition coach during a league game, causing a mass brawl that earned him a 4 match ban; he was also pictured cupping his ears while the Russian anthem was played before a Zenit match against Anzhi-whose-second-name-can't-be-spelt-or-pronounced.
Vinnie Jones is perhaps best known by younger people as ‘Jaggernaut’ in X-men or a debt collecting goon named ‘Bullet Tooth Tony’ in one of Guy Ritchies movies. Before Hollywood, Jones was a footballer. He turned out for Wimbledon, Chelsea and Leeds among other clubs. He also captained Wales. But he was mostly notorious for his madness, on and off the field. For example;
Jones holds the record for fastest booking in Premier league history, after 5 seconds!
He once commented that he had, “taken football hooliganism from the terraces onto the field”
Vinnie was caught on tape, grabbing Paul Gascoigne’s 'family jewels', during a match, in a bid to unsettle him.
|You thought I was kidding again, right?|
To date, Vinnie is still ranked as the most indisciplined footballer in modern English football, racking up 12 red cards and 82 yellows(not counting the Old first division) in his career.
He also released a video called ‘Soccer’s Hardmen’ in which he gives advice to fellow goons . One of the tips was ‘plucking at your opponents armpit hair’ to unsettle them at corner kicks. He was given a 6 month ban and a suspended 3 year ban by the FA for his troubles.
Little wonder then, that even film casters don’t bother casting him in nice guy roles. He is perfectly suited to playing a constantly cussing tough guy who smashes people’s heads in with his car door!
And finally, if you still think the black Sicilian is crazy, take a look at Mr. Cantona himself…
There's hope yet for young Mario. Vinnie Jones went on to have a succesful movie caree;, Eric Cantona is Mr. Joga Bonito; Edmundo is now commentator after a failed attempt to be a policeman; and Denisov continues to be a cult hero among fans in St. Petersburg. The English media needs to stop being so judgemental about Mario. Football has lost its characters. We should cherish Mario.
Thanks for reading folks.