A Conversation for Great Footballers
Players with Personality - No. 2 Paolo Di Canio
Trout Montague Started conversation Nov 26, 2002
Strangely overlooked at all levels by his native Italy, Paolo Di Canio is not only one of the game's most talented players, but he also competes for the mantel of most colourful. Never shy to court controversy, Di Canio was banned for 11 matches for shoving referee Paul Alcock in the chest after getting sent off whilst playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1998. Referee Alcock, Di Canio argues (not unconvincingly), took a dive ...
"Alcock took about three or four steps before falling over in a rather strange way. To me it looked like someone who was acting."
From the ridiculous to the sublime, Di Canio underlined the emotional side of his character in February 2000 by bizarrely sitting down and asking to be taken off during West Ham's thrilling 5-4 win over Bradford. His scissor-volley struck into the back of the onion bag from an acute angle against Wimbledon a month later deservedly scooped up the Premiership Goal Of The Season Award.
He followed this up in the 2000/2001 season by taking home (to West Ham's Upton Park) FIFA's Fair Play Award for catching the ball and stopping play instead of going for goal when Everton's 'keeper Paul Gerrard was on the ground injured.
Useful link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/1682501.stm
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