Week That Was

Maradona runs over cameraman

May 21, 2010
By email Dominic Raynor
(Archive)

This was the week in which FIFA's party-poopers outlawed the paradinha, Diego Maradona ran over a cameraman and then yelled insults at him as he lay injured, an international man of mystery robbed the Paraguay squad and Guti got booked before even coming on for his final game for Real Madrid.

Maradona runs over "asshole" cameraman

Diego Maradona in car
GettyImagesJournalists and camera crews push up against Diego Maradona's car

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa threatens to be a highly memorable one for Argentina, but more for the increasingly unfathomable antics of coach Diego Maradona than for anything that happens on the pitch.

This week the eccentric Albiceleste coach hit the headlines when he accidentally ran over a cameraman and then yelled insults at him as he lay injured. According to a witness, Maradona's Mini rolled over the lower part of the cameraman's leg at a busy news conference in Buenos Aires.

"What an asshole you are," Maradona shouted from the car. "How can you put your leg there where it can get run over, man?"

While the unfortunate cameraman was being attended to by paramedics, Maradona, whose World Cup preparations were disrupted in March when his dog bit him on the face, delivered the names of his final 23-man squad to the media.

Paraguay squad robbed at French base

Meanwhile, Paraguay's preparations for this summer's World Cup were thrown into disarray after a thief stole $110,000 in cash from the team's training base in Evian les Bains, France.

What criminal genius could mastermind such a heist you ask? Well it seems some bloke with a "latin accent" pretended to be the national team's director Rogelio Cattebeke, asked for the key to the safety deposit and the Hilton hotel staff duly obliged.

The imposter struck while the Paraguay team were training and the press officer, Gilda Arrua, was at the airport meeting two players who flew in to join up with the squad.

"The French police have already intervened and are on the trail of the possible author of the crime," Arrua said. "I can't give details because everything's in the hands of the investigators."

FIFA party-poopers outlaw paradinha

The paradinha, or 'little stop', penalty craze that's swept through Brazil has featured in this column on more than one occasion but the party-poopers at FIFA ruled it illegal this week to ensure it doesn't make an appearance at the World Cup.

The paradinha is a piece of skill in which the penalty-taker runs up, stops to allow the keeper to commit himself and calmly rolls the ball into the open side of the net, as expertly demonstrated by Santos' Neymar ESPN Video.

The penalty technique was already of dubious legality, but when Fred turned the 'little stop' into a complete stand still and threw in a dummy shot before scoring from the spot ESPN Video the purists were up in arms as far back as February.

It seems FIFA now agree that the feint is "clearly unsporting" and have amended Law 14 to outlaw the paradinha, despite one member of the International FA Board (IFAB) admitting that the panel were in fits of laughter at some dummies on the review video.

Guti booked before even coming on

Real Madrid midfielder Guti is never far from controversy and his final game for Real Madrid was no different as he managed to get himself booked before even setting foot on the pitch.

Goldilocks jumped off the bench in the 29th minute of the 1-1 draw with Malaga on Sunday to share a few heated words with the linesman, only for match referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco to trot over and show him the yellow card ESPN Video.

Guti, who has always split opinion amongst both fans and players at the Bernabeu, then proceeded to shrug off the attentions of Real Madrid official Chendo, who was attempting to usher the player to his seat, and only ended his tantrum when fellow substitute Lassana Diarra intervened.

Guti eventually got onto the pitch to says adios to the Madridistas in the 60th minute. His bags are packed and the 33-year-old looks set to join Galatasaray, Blackburn Rovers or head to the MLS.

Athletic Bilbao play 'impossible match'

Athletic Bilbao v 100 children
Athletic Bilbao versus 100 children

Spanish Primera Liga side Athletic Bilbao bid farewell to forward Joseba Etxeberria with a charity match against 200 schoolchildren at the San Mames stadium dubbed "the impossible game" ESPN Video this week.

Etxeberria spent 15-years at Bilbao, who only employ Basque players, and 20,000 fans - slightly more people than were on the pitch - turned up to say goodbye to the 32-year-old.

Athletic employed a 4-4-2 system to tackle two teams of 100 school kids, who played one half each, and despite an early set back when their massed opponents managed to take the lead, Bilbao amazingly managed to win 5-3.

VT of the week

We could shoehorn in some tenuous link about how Ronaldo (fat) had been hoping to make the Brazil squad for the 2010 World Cup but sadly missed out to make this clip marginally relevant but we won't bother.

Instead, just marvel at the changing faces of Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima ESPN Video as he morphs from the skinny youngster who made his debut at Cruzeiro into the larger man currently plying his trade at Corinthians.

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