OFF THE BALL

Everybody hates Cris-tiano

December 17, 2010
By Dominic Raynor
(Archive)

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, Adriano wins a his third Bidone d'Oro, Cristiano Ronaldo has no mates, an Ecuadorian player is suspend after faking his identity for seven years, the Peruvian cup final descends into a brawl and Carlos Tevez says goodbye to Manchester.

Everybody hates Cris

Cristiano Ronaldo: A lone wolf?
GettyImagesCristiano Ronaldo: A lone wolf?

Strutting Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has just three friends at the Santiago Bernabeu - Pepe, Marcelo and Angel di Maria - and that's why he celebrates his goals alone, according to Spain's most popular football radio show, El Larguero.

Club captain Iker Casillas has reportedly endured a strained relationship with the wax-chested Portuguese ever since his girlfriend, Sara Carbonero, described Ronaldo as being "very selfish" on a Spanish chat show. Ronaldo was apparently so offended that Casillas was forced to apologise on Carbonero's behalf.

However, the allegations were repeated by a second party this week when Barcelona's Dani Alves claimed CRon did not have the humility befitting of one of the world's best players.

"You cannot just play well, you must also be liked by other people, and I understand that his attitude ends up hurting, a little, the great player that he really is," Alves told Portuguese sports paper A Bola. "I think that the best player in the world should be quiet, humble, and friendly. Lionel Messi is all of these things, while Cristiano often lacks some of these qualities."

Adriano's career in Golden Bin

Rotund Roma striker Adriano has finally bagged himself a hat-trick, although a trio of Bidone d'Oro (Golden Bin) awards is probably not what the goalless Brazilian really wanted.

The Bidone d'Oro, a mock version of the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball), is awarded to Serie A's biggest underachiever during the calendar year and Adriano, who landed the gong in 2006 and 2007 during his time at Inter, goes down in history as the first player to win it three times.

The results of the voting for Rai Radio's award was as follows:

1. Adriano - 22.42%
2. Amauri - 12.76%
3. Ronaldinho - 10.11%
4. Fabio Cannavaro - 9.91%
5. Marco Materazzi - 9.34%
6. Antonio Cassano - 9.31%
7. Mancini - 8.24%
8. Diego - 7.55%
9. Felipe Melo - 5.61%
10.Adrian Mutu - 4.75%

The Bidone d'Oro usually goes to a player that has failed to justify a hefty transfer fee but as Adriano signed for Roma for free he has done particularly well, and by well I mean badly, to claim the title.

Player suspended for faking identity

Ecuadorian midfielder Gonzalo Chila, who until recently turned out for Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, has been suspended for two years for playing under the identity of an evangelical pastor.

Chila, or Angel Lizardo Cheme as he is actually called, assumed the fake identity in 2003, when the then-21-year-old tried out for Aucas' under-20 side with the real Gonzalo Chila, who didn't make the cut. Cheme did, but he was too old to be considered and so Chila sold him his identity to enable him to sign up.

The ruse worked a treat, with Cheme playing for Aucas for four years before being loaned out to Deportivo Olmedo and then on to Primera A de Ecuador side Quito. It was only when the real Chila demanded more hush money that the seven-year ruse come to light.

"After Cheme's meteoric rise in professional football, he began to be the victim of extortion by ... Chila, with the threat of having his true identity revealed if he didn't pay," Jorge Rosero, the player's lawyer, told Ecuador's Radio Rumba.

Peru Cup Final brawl was "essential"

Universidad San Martin defender Cristian Ramos has revealed his punch-up with Leon de Huanuco's Ronaile Calheira, that lead to a mass brawl during the Peruvian championship final ESPN Video, was "essential".

"Calheira lay on top of me and hit me. So I had to get him," Ramos explained. "After the game I went to his dressing room but he hid behind his mates. I did hit him twice, but not like I wanted to. I really wanted to hit him more. I just don't know what to make of him. He's not a man."

The two players scuffled on the sidelines after 33 minutes of the match and the trouble quickly spread. Riot police eventually broke up the fight and the referee sent four players off.

Leon assistant manager Leo Rojas said sorry to fans: "I punched someone too. I feel very low. I am a religious man." The match ended in a 1-1 draw so look out for a feisty re-run on December 19.

Wenger: Snoods are doctor's orders

Arsenal's Samir Nasri snoods it up
GettyImagesArsenal's Samir Nasri snoods it up

First it was gloves, then it was tights and now the winter warmer of choice for Premier League footballers, or at least the top-flight softies that don't mind demeaning themselves, is the snood.

Arsenal's pampered stars top of the snood league table but far from being embarrassed manager Arsene Wenger excused the ridiculous apparel by claiming it's was all down doctor's orders.

"I get advice from the medical team. We had some players with neck problems before the Aston Villa game, Nasri and Chamakh," he said. "That's why we decided to let them wear them because they had some medical issues." Pull the other one Arsene!

Just how English football survived for over 100 years without the snood is a mystery.


Video of the week

Netherland's striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar endulges in some lunch-hall bullying with a CGI twist, with fellow Dutchman Rick van Wolfswinkel playing the victim. Click here to see Huntelaar in action ESPN Video.


More than words...


Manchester United fans poke fun at City with a mock-up of that infamous Tevez poster. ©Picture from United fans


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