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, super-rich and "arrogant" footballer Nicklas Bendtner begs for a free pizza in Denmark, Inter Milan striker Diego Milito is awarded the Bidone d'Oro, Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy is a 's**t' Premier League referee and a crazy Argentinian goalkeeper takes a bite out of an opponent's face.
Diego Milito's career in Golden Bin
It may be awards season, but there is one particular gong that nobody wants to scoop this Yule Tide and that's the Bidone d'Oro (Golden Bin), a mock version of the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball), which is thrust upon Serie A's biggest underachiever during the calendar year.
This year's hapless winner is Inter Milan striker Diego Milito and it marks a spectacular fall from grace for the Argentina international, who helped Jose Mourinho's Nerazzurri to win the UEFA Champions League as recently as 2010. The 32-year-old will now presumably be straight on the phone to perennial winner Adriano, who scooped the award for a record third time while playing for Roma last year, to persuade him return to Italy and spare and future blushes.
Milito was joined on the 2011 Golden Bin shortlist by Amauri (Juventus/Parma), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Eduardo (Genoa), Milos Krasic (Juventus), Adrian Mutu (Cesena), Santiago Silva (Fiorentina), Mauro Zarate (Lazio/Inter), Luca Toni (Juventus) and Diego Forlan (Inter) - and received 15.17% of the votes from listeners of Rai Radio 2 programme Catersport, with Amauri scooping the Bidone d'Argento and Krasic landing the Bidone di Bronzo.
The Bidone d'Oro was first handed to AC Milan's Brazilian forward Rivaldo in 2003, with Juve's Nicola Legrottaglie, Inter Milan's Christian Vieri and Ricardo Quaresma, plus Fiorentina's Felipe Melo also 'winning' the trophy in subsequent years.
Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy is a 's**t' referee
A raft of irate Tottenham fans proved themselves to be a few sandwiches short of the full picnic this week. After match referee Chris Foy denied their side a perfectly good equalising goal at Stoke, Spurs supporters bombarded four-time Olympic cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy with a varied selection of abuse on social-networking monolith Twitter.
Despite trawling through comments such as "Chris Hoy, not only are you a useless **** of a referee, you also support Stoke" and "Unbelievable. Chris Hoy is so s**t!" the British cycling hero took it all surprisingly well.
The Scot responded by writing: "'Just for the record 1) I don't need glasses and 2) I do not lead a double life as an English premier league ref. That's Chris Foy."
It obviously took a long time for realisation to dawn on some of the Spurs supporters who only had a can of cheap lager and a pork pie in their hamper, with 35-year-old Knight of the Realm Hoy adding: "Still getting some rather amusing grief from Spurs fans! On the plus side I've learned some new 4 letter words today. #FoyNotHoy."
Super-rich Nicklas Bendtner begs for pizza
It would appear that Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner is as unpopular in his homeland as elsewhere after being caught on camera playing the "Do you know who I am?" card and failing to land a free pizza during a drunken night out with actress Julie Zangenberg.
The millionaire footballer popped into Pizza Huset in Copenhagen to end his evening with a quick bite to eat but couldn't pay by card at the pizzeria and didn't have any cash. According to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Bendtner then pleaded with the owners for a free meal, was refused, and then begged for somebody else to pay. All of which left a bad taste in the mouth of his fellow diners.
"He was f***ing arrogant and came up as if he owned the place. Everyone just stood and looked at each other and shook their heads over the way he behaved," one 22-year-old onlooker said.
A member of staff at Pizza Huset added: "When he could not pay, he demanded to get free pizza and said: 'Do you not know who I am? I can buy the whole pizzeria'. We told him that it did not matter who he was. If he could not pay, there was no pizza."
Two young girls eventually took pity on the on-loan Arsenal striker and shelled out £14 for his food.
Looney goalkeeper bites opponent's face
Back before he started diving around the pitches of the Premier League and flipping the bird at Fulham fans, Luis Suarez was known as the Cannibal of Ajax after chomping on the shoulder of PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal, but this week Uruguay's handball hero was dethroned as the toothiest striker in world football.
Recreativo Estrellas goalkeeper Gabriel Orozco took Suarez's crown as cannibal-in-chief following a bizarre incident in a regional game in Argentina last week when he decided to take a bite out the face of DM Kart's Nicolas Cardinal .
The duo went up to challenge for a cross together during the match in Cordoba, a bear-hug followed the incident and then Orozco decided he was hungry for human flesh and bit Cardinal's cheek.
Once the referee saw the DM Kart players face, Recreativo goalkeeper Orozco was shown the red card and Cardinal was sent off to hospital.
Video of the week
Barcelona stunned Real Madrid with a somewhat surprising 3-1 win in this week's El Clasico and to celebrate, the triumphant Catalan club have released this excellent super-slow-motion footage of some of the action at the Santiago Bernabeu. It's well worth a watch. To see El Clasico captured in super slow motion, click here .
More than words...
Managers Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Mancini look on as Chelsea hand Premier League leaders Manchester City their first defeat of the season to keep the title race interesting.
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