Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bidoni: Serie A's most embarrassing players - Part 1

Literally translated from Italian into English "bidone" simply means "thrash can". But in football terms, a "bidone" is a player who comes to Serie A with some sort of good (sometimes great or even stellar) reputation, and ends up a disaster, leaving behind a trail of wasted money and infuriated supporters.

Jorge Washington Caraballo (Pisa)

It is the summer of 1982 Pisa Calcio president Romeo Anconetani sends his son Adolfo to Uruguay with one important task: to bring back a strong reinforcement for his team. Adolfo comes back from Uruguay in less that 5 days, with him on the plane his precious acquisition: Jorge Washington Caraballo, a self proclaimed “new Schiaffino”, and self convinced super star of Pisa. Upon hearing the news, the Pisa supporters invade the airport to witness the arrival of the newly acquired player…and that is actually the last time a crowd gathers around Jorge with non-violent intentions. Caraballo is in fact a disaster, labeled by his own president Romeo Anconetani an “obscenity”, poor Jorge leaves Pisa after only 7 games into the season to transfer to Machala, Ecuador. After that, very little is known about Caraballo, but according to an urban legend, he is currently working as a taxi driver between Caracas e Montevideo.

Hugo Hernan Maradona (Ascoli)

For some obscure reason, in 1987 Diego Armando Maradona convinces Napoli’s president Corrado Ferlaino to sign his brother Hugo, a still unknown player even in his native Argentina, to Napoli. Many insiders are convinced that Ferlaino agreed to acquire Hugo Maradona simply to avoid upsetting Diego in fact, he soon became unsure of what he had done and taking advantage of the press frenzy around Maratona Junior, immediately loaned little Hugo to Ascoli. What a move! At Ascoli Hugo will only play 3 games as a starter, sitting on the bench or at home for the remaining 30-31. In his short experience in Serie A, Hugo resembled his brother Diego only in the color of the hair, the last name and another couple insignificant details, none of which had anything to do with kicking a ball. So, in the early spring of 1988 Hugo was happily shipped to Japan, where, for another obscure reason, he went on to become some kind of football legend.

(Inter Milan)

Marcos Andrè Batista Santos aka Vampeta plays excellent football in Holland and in his native Brazil so Inter Milan astute scouts think immediately of him when beloved Marcello Lippi (at the time Inter coach) asks for a man of great skills and personality. Thanks to $15 million, and a special blessing from the great Ronaldo, Vampeta makes his debut in Serie A on September 5th, 2000. A few months later, after playing the most horrible games of his career and earning the crown of "bidone of the year" he is on a plane to Paris, destination PSG. Unfortunately he never recovered from his status of "bidone", after the short and unsuccesful experience in France, Vampeta landed in Kuwait and after that he could only find a spot in Brasiliense and Goias, where he will be mostly remembered for having declared: "Goias is a team of homosexuals".



Anonymous Doug said...

OK, I'll bite. What is the "obscure reason" that Hugo Maradona became "some kind of legend" in pre J League Japan?

1:07 PM  
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