Our Favourite Players. 1: Stefano Fiore

‘Stefano Fiore (born April 17, 1975 in Cosenza) is an Italian football manager and former player, who played as an attacking midfielder or on the wing. He is currently in charge as manager technical area of Cosenza[1] in Serie D. ‘

– Wikipedia, March 2012

Indeed, Mr Pedia. ‘In charge as manager technical area’, you say. And perhaps that’s true.

But to us here at Near Post Flick, Stefano Fiore will always be the Dadaist rulebreaker who, when asked what inhuman horrors he would consign to Room 101, replied, ‘Ketchup, mess and the mountains of Russia’. On a bright Belgian morning in June 2000, Stefano Fiore BROKE ART.

He was also a very fine footballer, drifting, elusive and peripheral then thrillingly, gracefully relevant. At Parma, he eased the increasingly static Azzurri fixture Dino Baggio out of the side; in Udine, he fetishised the curling, looping shy at goal that became his calling card at Euro 2000, yet could still slap the leather off it (as this crisp one – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCoweOpUqGE –  against Verona attests ). And now he’s returned to his roots, coaching his home town club down amongst the has-beens and truffle-sniffers of Serie D.

And what’s more, he looks a bit like Nick Cotton from Eastenders. Forza, Stefano. Long may you reign,  in charge as manager technical area.