All in the Game
Compiled by MARY HANNIGAN
Franca's transfer turns into a not so tall tale
“Franca falls short of expectations at Hannover,” read the Reuters headline during the week, all of which seemed a bit premature considering the Brazilian had only just arrived at the Bundesliga club.
The problem, though, is that the midfielder is a whole nine centimetres shorter than coach Mirko Slomka had been advised, something Slomka spotted at the player’s unveiling.
“He noticed the discrepancy when he, 1.87m tall, stood next to the man he’d been told was 1.90m and found that he could see the top of the Franca’s head,” as Reuters put it.
“What can I say? I was totally surprised, the one criterion had been to pay attention to the body size,” said Slomka, who appeared to be hinting that he’d never actually seen the player before the club signed him.
Hannover 96 sporting director Jorg Schmadtke was blamed for the slip-up, having declared when the transfer was sealed: “Franca, at 1.90m and 88kgs, has a physical presence he brings with great passion into his game.”
While he might not be as effective, say, in the air as Slomka would have hoped, if Franca lives up to his real second name, there should be no shortage of passion: Wellington Wildy Muniz dos Santos.
Cantona's Rolls Royce is a charity case
Rolls Royce of the Week: The 1984 convertible that raised €130,000 for a homeless charity at an auction in Paris, despite/because of being covered in graffiti. Naturally, it belonged to Eric Cantona, who had asked a chap by the name of JonOne to give it a little re-spray. "It's the ultimate symbol of wealth, and now it's been associated with a symbol of poverty, by a true street artist," explained Dieu. The sound you hear is the wailing of Rolls-Royce-o-philes.
Quotes of the Week I
“Paul Pogba is like a Dalí painting. Works of art are rare and are worth a lot because people appreciate them. Paul is one of them.”
– When he’s not busy – very busy – looking after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli’s affairs, agent Mino Raiola is painting a pretty picture of Pogba’s potential.
“The Germans do well economically and we respect that. They are the only ones that make money in Europe. That’s why we’ve chosen a German.”
– Arsene Wenger explaining why he chose Per Mertesacker to collect fines from Arsenal players. Wise move.
“[Andrea] Agnelli did not behave well during the [Lega Serie A] board meeting. I have to say he acted like a bitter spinster suffering from withdrawal symptoms.”