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The Circus - 24 November

24 Nov 2012 | 11:50-Matt Price

There is only one man in football who could get away with pooing in Gennaro Gattuso's boxer shorts for a laugh. And it isn't Ibra.

Right browned off

"Lionhearted, headstrong, pure talent, real man" is not only the Circus's internet dating profile but a banner held up by Lazio fans on Thursday in honour of returning hero Paul Gascoigne.

Gascoigne made 43 appearances for the Rome club, becoming England's most successful export to Italy after the internal combustion engine. Of course, Gazza had other qualities. Gennaro Gattuso spent a year in the great man's company at Glasgow Rangers. He recalled in an interview with SF this week how Gascoigne welcomed him to the club after his first training session.

"I went to shower, came back into the dressing room, and there was a foul smell in the room which was coming from my belongings," the future World Cup winner said.

"I took my boxer shorts out of my bag and saw that there was something heavy in them. Paul Gascoigne had crapped in my underpants.

"Gazza is a madman who loves to make jokes," Gattuso explained. "He is crazy and that is the only reason for it. This is his way of being, but I was not happy that I had to drive home without pants on."

History records that Gattuso returned to Italy after one season in Scotland.

Brazil Celebrity Fit Club latest

Brazil's greatest ever striker, maybe, is six weeks into his quest to trim down on Brazilian reality TV. If unflattering grey T-shirts are a guide, it's not going well - although unlike most contestants on the Biggest Loser by this stage, Ronaldo is at least still jolly. Here he is dancing to Gangnam Style.

Hope For Us All department

Here are the qualifications of Vugar Huseynzade, the new manager of ambitious Azerbaijani outfit FC Baku: "I've always wanted to work in football and have played Football Manager since 2002".

Huseynzade, 21, beat a candidate with experience managing real, actual football clubs Lens, Strasbourg and Chateauroux.

He aims to get Baku into the Europa League within three years.

Opportunity squandered

Arsenal's 2-0 win at the Emirates on Wednesday was Montpellier's loss and the world's. Montpellier owner Louis 'Loulou' Nicollin has already proven his willingness to make good on half-baked wagers by sporting a blue-and-orange mohawk after Montpellier's unlikely Ligue 1 victory last season. Had Montpellier, instead of being knocked out of its first ever Champions League campaign by Arsenal, gone on to lift the trophy, Nicollin had promised to head straight to the nearest monastery.

"I have many fans who want me to become a monk, then so be it," he said. "Naked under my robe, like real monks, without any socks in the winter. A real monk. I like that."

If you are reading this over your cornflakes and wish to complete the mental image, Nicollin is essentially a more eccentric, more French and more solvent Nathan Tinkler.

The spoken word

"All I knew in that moment was that the ball must not go in."

- San Martin's reserve goalkeeper Marcos Juarez reveals he was acting on impulse when he invaded the pitch to deny Argentinian opponents Bell Ville with a spectacular diving save. The incident earned Juarez a three-match ban and Bell Ville an indirect free kick, which it fired straight into the wall. "It was curious, but it made me happy," said regular keeper Damian Diyeno.

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THE
CIRCUS

The Circus

The Circus is The World Game's regular look at the beautiful game from left field. So join us every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for something a little more light-hearted than the norm.
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