PAOLO DI CANIO
NOW the footie season has kicked off you can enjoy watching the sport’s pampered prima donnas. But in our
feature, we’re reminding you of the violent nutters, randy rebels and peacocking playboys who over the years have graced the beautiful game with their presence.
Every week we’ll be looking at a different one of the sport’s most mental mavericks.
And this week it’s the man they call The Volcano – hot-headed Italian, Paolo Di Canio. Danny Wilson and Di Canio was sold to West Ham, where he gained cult-hero status, before clashing with manager Glenn Roeder and being sent across London to join Charlton for one final season in England.
In 2004, Di Canio returned to his first love, Lazio, and quickly took to celebrating goals with a fascist salute, eventually convincing the Italian FA to dish out a one-match ban.
When he had a row with the club chairman, who was forced to dodge flying restaurant tables, he was released.
Di Canio retired from playing, after a brief stint with Cisco Roma and has been managing League One Swindon since last year – but he hasn’t lost any of his fire.
Earlier this month, he hit the headlines after a touchline row with his goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
Reflecting on his career, he said: “There are people who still say to me that had I been quieter I could have played for Italy.
“My answer is this – had I been calmer, I wouldn’t even have made it as a footballer. I give my best when I’m pissed off and when I argue with the entire world.”