THE WEEK THAT WAS

Mourinho slags off Serie A

April 2, 2010
By Dominic Raynor
(Archive)

This was the week in which Diego Maradona had face surgery following a dog attack, Jose Mourinho declared he dislikes Italian football, Gary McAllister was signed for a pint of John Smiths bitter and the media ran riot on April Fool's Day.

Mourinho fed up with Italian football

Hands up if you dislike calcio
GettyImagesHands up if you dislike calcio

Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho declared his gun was for hire in typical style this week when he arranged an interview with an English TV channel to declare that he hates Italian football.

"I am very happy at Inter but not in Italian football," said Mourinho. "I don't like it and it doesn't like me."

The Special One's come and get me plea left a number of Premier League managers shifting uneasily in their hot-seats and initial reports suggest Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, the man Mourinho replaced at Inter, is fidgeting most nervously.

Mourinho has been at the centre of numerous controversies during his two seasons in Serie A and he was recently fined £16,000 for opening old wounds in the land of the calciopoli scandal when he claimed "everything was done for us not to win" after Inter triumphed in the Milan derby, despite two players being sent off.

Real Madrid will also be monitoring Mourinho's position with interest.

UEFA Cup winner signs for a pint of beer

Former Scotland international Gary McAllister, who won the quadruple with Liverpool in 2001, has been signed up by tiny Tadcaster Albion for a pint of John Smith's and a bottle of Lucozade Sport.

The Brewers' boss Paul Marshall pulled off the coup for the KoolSport Northern Counties East Football League Division One side after playing alongside the former Leeds United skipper for Harrogate Vets.

Marshall said: "I was just taking the Mickey at first, but I told him all about Tadcaster and he seemed really keen. I asked if he would sign and he said 'For Taddy? I'll do it, of course I will'.

"I was then getting the drinks in at the bar and he came up and asked for a pint of John Smith's and a Lucozade Sport. I got them in and handed him the forms and he signed them.

"I then told everyone in the pub 'That's my claim to fame. I've just signed Gary Mac for a pint of John Smith's and a bottle of Lucozade!"

If only it were true...

In the finest traditions of April Fools' Day there was a flurry of truly unbelievable reports this week as the media played their best practical jokes on the more gullible members of the public.

Statistical giants Opta came up with a couple of crackers, claiming that a bald player had scored the goal to seal the Serie A title in eight of the last 12 seasons and that Zlatan Ibrahimovic ran just 424 metres in Barca's draw with Arsenal, equal to the circumference of the London Eye.

Meanwhile, The Sun claimed techno-loving Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce had given the thumbs-up to a motorised two-wheel 'ref-mobile' that would help keep officials up to speed with the game's fastest players.

Over in France, L'Equipe reported that Emmanuel Petit was set to replace Raymond Domenech as coach of the French national team, but given that the latter's tenure is already a joke it's not clear if this report was actually bogus.

Zamalek fan gatecrashes to ask for contract

Sticking with the theme of the barely believable, over in Egypt, Zamelek fan Ahmed Emad burst into a club training session this week to declare that he was good enough to play for the club and demanded they signed him up.

While most of us have thought that about our own teams at one time or another, few of us have gone to the trouble of actually printing up promotional leaflets and thrusting them into the hand of the manager.

"I'm eager to be part of the Zamalek team," Emad's pamphlet said, according to FilGoal. "I believe that I'm talented and good enough for that. I want to show you my skills and play with the greatest team in Egypt. I hope the board of directors and chairman Mamdouh Abbas will seriously consider my request."

They didn't. Emad was removed by security.

The hound of God

Diego Maradona's famous face
GettyImagesDiego Maradona's heads to South Africa as coach of his native Argentina.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona found himself back in the same hospital that treated him for drinking related toxic hepatitis this week after his dog decided to bite a chunk out of his face.

Plastic surgeons repaired Maradona's upper lip after the Argentina coach was admitted to the Los Arcos clinic in Buenos Aires with bloody wounds caused by a Chinese Shar-Pei called Bela.

As a player, Maradona captained Argentina to their second World Cup title in 1986 and infamously punched the ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton in the quarter-finals; an incident that became known as 'the hand of God'.

The 49-year-old retired from football in 1997 and is still worshipped in Argentina, except by his dog, despite years of scandal involving drug addiction, overeating and alcoholism.

VT of the week

Forget Arsenal versus Barcelona, the best goal of the week came in J-League 2 as Avispa Fukuoka's Jun Suzuki scored direct from a corner.

Four-nil up and playing against nine-men, Jun Suzuki decided to unveil his party piece against Kataller Toyama. Thanks to our friends at 101greatgoals you can watch Suzuki's wonder-strike here.

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