Marcelino's laughable outburst

Last updated : 14 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

"When I arrived the fans called me a thieving Spaniard and a gypsy who was robbing the club's cash," claimed the work-shy defender.

"From a professional point of view, England could not have been a worse choice for me.

"I began there full of hope and with an open heart but I soon became disillusioned - English fans value a good tackle more highly than a piece of skill or a good trick and they would rather see a clash of heads than some intelligent play.

"My relationship with the manager was also not good. He and I used to tell each other what we thought but he was the man in charge and I the subordinate and I couldn't do anything to change his decisions.

"In the end, I shut myself away in my own little world with those team-mates who spoke my language or who shared my Mediterranean culture."

Coming from a man who missed 20 games with a broken finger and bottled out of a UEFA Cup game in the Stadio Olimpico all criticism seems pathetic.

But to be fair to him he’s probably not a gypsy!