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The Circus - 16 March

16 Mar 2013 | 09:35-Matt Price

As the football world waited in anticipation to see whether stoke would parade Steven Nzonzi in a onesie, Maradona flirted with France.

The unbearable sadness of Loulou

Montpellier owner Louis 'Loulou' Nicollin is sad. Not so sad as the Galatasaray fans who were caught trying to burrow into Schalke's stadium with their bare hands. But still sad.

Just look at him.

Loulou is sad because for a day or two it looked as though Diego Maradona was all set to join the reigning French champion.

Maradona, who approves of the new pope, "really wants to work in Europe".

"He had first contact with Italian and English sides, but he is attracted by Montpellier," his agent Youssef Haijoub said last week.

"He told me: 'Youssef, rush on with it and work fine on that case.' Mr Nicollin is attracted too and I am convinced they could get on very fine together."

But now the deal has fallen through and Loulou is the opposite of this.

To be fair to Maradona, Nicollin's main reason for wanting to recruit him was "to piss off PSG."

And Loulou's sales pitch could have used a bit of work.

"If he would accept for the minimum wages, we would hire him," Nicollin said. "I would find him a villa - it is out of the question to make him live in my house. Otherwise if he comes to talk, we would prepare a nice press conference and I want more journalists than for the David Beckham press conference in Paris."

Negotiations broke down, according to Nicollin, because of the difficulties in dealing with Haijoub and Maradona's many other agents.

"I will not be kept waiting like a muppet," Nicollin said. "The entire story is giving me a headache."

Been there, scored that

If this is any indication, we can look forward to Lionel Messi having his stomach stapled and tweeting his support for popes in around 25 years time.

By then, poor old Barca will only have these kids to fall back on.

A onesie for Nzonzi

"Adults sizing will be available," Stoke City threatened last month when announcing the coming of the official club romper suit, or onesie.

Unkind types on Twitter mocked the Stoke City onesie. Some said it was a Potteries in-joke, like the one Tony Pulis plays each week on the Premier League. But lo, timed perfectly for the onset of the British summer, it has come to pass.

Here is right back Geoff Cameron, fashionably insulated from the Staffordshire chill.

And here is cuddly 190cm winger Brek Shea.

There is no word yet on whether the Potters will issue a onesie for Steven Nzonzi.

The spoken word

"We're taking a long-term view"

- Caerphilly Castle Ladies chairwoman Julie Boyce announces her club's withdrawal from the Welsh Premier League. The Castle lost 43-0 on the weekend, taking their goal difference from 10 winless matches this season to -218. The 2010 Welsh League Cup winners will now concentrate on "developing players throughout the different age groups".

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