While the blood letting continues after EURO 2012, AC Milan is doing its best not to put any pressure on its teenage Moroccan signing.
Let the blood run free
Brazilian club Vitoria is doing its bit for blood banks, which is nice. The club's traditional black and red hoops will be swapped for the start of the new season for a strip with black and white hoops.
Vitoria fans will be encouraged to donate blood just as "Vitoria has always given its blood for you". Each time fans reach a target, one of the hoops will be turned red until the original strip is restored.
Here's the club's video.
In other blood-letting news, the head of Russia's FA has resigned of his own free will shortly after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin reported that Russian Football Union president Sergei Fursenko had taken blame for the country's failure to reach the knockout stages at EURO 2012.
Before eagerly spilling his blood, just as Russia has always given its own blood for him, Fursenko told Putin, "I would like to apologise to the fans for this result", the Kremlin said.
Russia's troubles with racism do not appear to have been a factor in Fursenko's totally voluntary resignation, despite the Russian FA receiving fines totalling €225,000 for fan behaviour at the tournament. Of that €30,000 was for racist abuse of a Czech player, a claim which Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko called "stupid and untrue".
Russia's fans were merely voicing their disapproval at Czech fans for not joining in a Mexican wave, Mutko said.
"The Czech sector didn't stand up so they started condemning the Czechs with the appropriate noises."
Grassroots golazo of the week
Nick Hegarty is a journeyman whose career has taken him from Grimsby Town and the Scottish Premier League to the Victorian Premier League, where he plays for Hume City.
In some ways the VPL could be considered a step down for Hegarty. The perks are, you expect, rather less exciting, and to go by this match against the Moreland Zebras the crowds are not so much crowds as an old bloke behind the goals. But at least the weather is normally nicer.
Anyway, when was the last time anyone in the SPL did something like this?
Mr Messi, Moroccan edition
If The Circus had been thinking quickly enough, Hegarty would have been dubbed the Moreland Messi.
As it is, we'll have to make do with Hachim Mastour, the 14-year-old signed by AC Milan for the bargain fee of €500,000.
With the aid of an orange and a ping-pong ball, Mastour demonstrated for Italian TV why he has been speedily tagged 'the Moroccan Messi', (and no, the clip is not in any way as distasteful as the usual results when you search for 'orange', 'ping-pong ball' and 'Italian TV').
"Mastour seems to have great qualities, but let's not put too much pressure on him," AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani said.
"Mastour is 14 years old. He's the future. But he's still just a kid."
In The Circus's experience, the best ways to keep pressure off a youngster do not include paying €500,000 for their services and declaring them the future, but that is why The Circus is a poorly dressed peddler of off-beat football stories and not the vice-president of a European football giant.
The spoken word
"Peter has a good command of the English language and listens well." - An anonymous source reveals to The Sun newspaper why Peter Crouch has been given his own TV chat show. The show will be called 'On the Couch with Peter Crouch', and The Circus is confident it will be a massive, long-lasting success. Liam Gallagher is lined up as one of the opening guests.
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