Friday, October 22, 2010
Ibrahimovic: I could coach Barca to six trophies
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, a bunch of Peruvian players are drugged by their opponents, Auxerre substitute Jean-Pascal Mignot is sent off before coming on, Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims he could coach Barcelona and ex-goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert beats up an agent
Zlatan: I could coach Barca to six trophies
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has pretty much ensured he won't return to the Camp Nou when his loan spell with AC Milan expires in the summer after belittling the achievements of Catalan hero and Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
The former Barca skipper tunred coach won six trophies, including the Champions League, in his first season in charge of the Blaugrana but Ibrahimovic claims Guardiola had it easy and even he could have managed the team.
"In Barca, anyone can be the coach," Ibrahimovic said. "For me, even, it would not be difficult to do it. They say that they have earned six titles, but who would not with that team? At Barca nobody questions the coach."
Nobody but Ibrahimovic, who lasted just one season at the Camp Nou despite a €66 million player-plus-cash deal and was then shipped out on loan to AC Milan with a view to a permanent move.
Chilavert hits out at agent
They say you have to be a bit crazy to be goalkeeper and former Paraguay international Jose Luis Chilavert (yes, the one who scored those freekicks) did nothing to dispel the stereotype this week when he beat up an Argentine agent in an airport following a dispute over commission.
Punch-bag Pablo Seijas claimed the argument started when he met Chilavert in Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires and continued until they arrived at Silvio Pettirossi Airport in Paraguay.
"Chilavert demanded money from me for his supposed part in the transfers of Argentine players Rolando Zarate to Mexico and Sebastian Romero to Greece, but I told him I had nothing to do with those moves," Seijas said.
Chilavert, who played at the 2002 World Cup, countered by telling Asuncion radio station Primero De Marzo: "He called me a starving Paraguayan and I cannot allow that. It bothers me that in a foreign land they say whatever, but in our country I am not going to allow it."
Peruvian players drugged by opponents
Peruvian second division side Hijos de Ascovinchos had four players hospitalized during their promotion-deciding clash with local-rivals Sport Ancash after swigging energy drinks spiked with tranquilisers.
The Ascovinchos players guzzled drinks handed to them by their opponents during a break in play and started to drop like flies once the game restarted. The groggy side eventually lost 3-0 to Ancash but furious Ascovinchos manager Americo Ibanez wants an investigation.
"My boys say Ancash medical staff gave them a liquid which made them feel dizzy and faint," Ibanez said. "When they returned the bottles so the other team drank from them as well, someone snatched them out of their hands. We want the authorities to investigate this and prove where this substance came from. We're intending to launch a formal complaint."
Despite the fact the hospitalized players had traces of tranquiliser in their blood, Ancash president Pepe Mallqui put it all down to a dodgy pre-match meal.
"They ate barbecued chicken with spices and ended up taking indigestion tablets afterwards. I'm sure these four men fainted because of that and the physical effort they put in."
Andy Carroll's car burnt to a crisp
Trouble just seems to follow certain people and Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is one of those people. After being charged on Monday with assaulting ex-girlfriend Laurie Henderson and bailed to live with Toon skipper Kevin Nolan the 21-year-old's chrome-plated Range Rover was burnt to a crisp in an apparent arson attack.
Carroll had bought the car earlier this month to celebrate signing a new five-year deal with the Magpies, but vandals set it alight on Wednesday and daubed graffiti on Nolan's garage door.
A Northumbria police force spokeswoman said: "Police received a report from the fire and rescue service of a fire outside an address in Darras Hall. Officers attended and a Range Rover was found to be on fire."
Within just two days of becoming Carroll's custodian Noland has had his property vandalised and a car burnt out in his driveway... there might be few strong tackles going in on the training pitch.
Auxerre's Mignot sent off before coming on
Not only did Auxerre substitute Jean-Pascal Mignot manage to get himself sent off before even stepping foot on the pitch for their Champions League clash against Ajax but he managed to do it by getting himself two yellow cards.
With Ajax down to ten men and leading 2-1 the Dutch club indulged in spot of time wasting. A disgusted Mignot urged referee Olegario Benquerenca to take some action and got himself booked for his troubles.
When Benquerenca asked Mignot to remove his training bib so he could note down his number, the indignant Frenchman protested and was eventually given his marching orders by the ref.
Ajax's Andre Ooijer and Auxerre's Dennis Oliech had already been sent off in the match, but at least they were actually playing at the time.
Video of the week
Arsenal crock Robin van Persie is no stranger to injury and his jinx is now rubbing off on those unlucky enough to be near him. After showing a group of children around the newly-named Robin Van Persie Stand at SBV Excelsior not everyone in the party escaped unscathed .
Around the web
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• Liverpool chief Henry falls foul of the ol' switcheroo
• Mancini: I'd rather Manchester City players womanise than drink
• A photographic journey through John Henry's first days at Liverpool