Paolo Di Canio: The Autobiography

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9780007106820: Paolo Di Canio: The Autobiography

The autobiography of the outrageously talented Italian striker, worshipped by West Ham fans and a footballer who has won the hearts of supporters wherever he has played – this despite his infamous tantrums and volatile behaviour on the pitch.

Paolo Di Canio is a player who doesn’t recognise the footballer’s code of conduct: he says what he thinks and heaven help the person who has crossed him.

That’s the root of his troubles as well, of course. Born into a working-class family in Rome, he displays the archetypal Latin temperament, which has seen him get into more trouble with referees than can be good for his health. But is there more to him than a one-man inner-city riot?

In his autobiography, Di Canio relives his colourful career with a host of clubs, from the likes of Milan, Napoli and Juventus in Italy to Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday and, most recently, West Ham. He describes vividly his Latin roots, the young Italians’ pastime of chasing the girls, and the ups and downs of his early football career.

He also provides his own version of the shove on referee Paul Alcock, his anger at his club, Sheffield Wednesday, and the feelings of betrayal and isolation following his four-month ban from the game. He reveals the real reasons behind his retreat into exile in Italy before his career was rescued from oblivion by Harry Redknapp and West Ham.

So what does the future hold for the Hammers’ ticking timebomb? You can find out about this and much more in Paolo Di Canio’s explosive career story.

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Review:

And then he fell over. I've watched the video a million times and to this day I still don't understand how he managed to fall over like that...My first reaction was that somebody must have been crouching behind him, like in one of those old slapstick comedies.
After a turbulent and semi-successful career in Italy--culminating with a key role in the title-winning AC Milan side of the mid 1990s--mild-mannered maestro Paolo Di Canio touched down briefly at Celtic, before unresolved contract wrangling saw him move on to Sheffield Wednesday, where his unique brand of "talent 'n' tantrums" quickly made him a firm "favourite" with fans, referees and fellow players alike.

The infamous Paul Alcock incident--which brought his career to a grinding halt--is covered in detail, as you would expect, and Di Canio candidly measures the private psychological and emotional impact of his very public disgrace and vilification.

Di Canio finally found a home with Harry Redknapp's West Ham--and in the years since has become arguably the finest individual talent currently playing in English football.

Not afraid of speaking his mind--Middlesborough "the ugliest place in the world"; David James "this cretin", Danny Wilson "a frustrated nobody", Mussolini "deeply misunderstood", etc.--or of detailing those "delicate" moments, like his punch-up with then-manager Big Ron Atkinson, which have made him a regular target of the tabloids, Paolo Di Canio--The Autobiography is as controversial and compelling as the man himself. Whatever this book says about professional football and the life and loves of one of its most dazzling practitioners, the results are never boring. --Alex Hankin

Review:

‘Marvellous stuff...puts most players autobiographies to shame’ – Independent

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Canio, Paolo Di, Marcotti, Gabriele
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