Sunday May 10 2020
Asprilla tells his favourite Parma pranks

Tino Asprilla recounts some spectacular anecdotes from his time at Parma, including eating a fine, falling in a lake and partying with ‘five or six girls’ during a training retreat.

The Colombian legend had his first European experience at the Stadio Tardini from 1992-96, returning in 1998-99, and spoke to his old teammate Fabio Cannavaro on Instagram Live.

“We were a crazy bunch, there was you, Sandro Melli, Hristo Stoichkov, Massimo Crippa and Gigi Buffon,” said Asprilla, now 50.

“Nevio Scala always made us go for these long morning walks and one day I was so sleepy that I fell in the lake. There was another time we started betting Antonio Benarrivo absurd sums if he’d jump in the freezing cold swimming pool. We increased the bid to 5m Lire and he dived in.”

There was another poolside incident that happened under coach Alberto Malesani’s watch in 1998-99.

“Jumping in the pool was banned and Malesani was searching the rooms to figure out who had done it, but I went into every room too and left traces of water everywhere, so there weren’t enough clues to catch me. I got away with it!

“One day Malesani said I had to change, that I couldn’t keep creating chaos, I had to shut up or he’d sell me. I was quiet for two days, but by the third I was back to normal.

“I was at the table with Mussi to my right, Hernan Crespo and Seba Veron to my left. I took a piece of meat, put some spicy sauce on there and told Mussi to offer it to Crespo. He fell for it like a plum, ate it and then started insulting me.”

Cannavaro had already revealed in a different interview that Asprilla responded to a fine handed to him by captain Lorenzo Minotti by eating the piece of paper.

“We were in this training retreat and a teammates said to me, ‘come here, there are five or six girls.’ We had a lot of fun until about 5am…”

Even then-Parma President Giorgio Pedraneschi was not safe from Asprilla’s pranks.

“Once in training, I bet that I’d be able to hit him with the football. He had the phone in his hand and it went flying.”

However, the worst prank Asprilla ever experienced was at his own expense at Newcastle United thanks to Alan Shearer.

“We were in London ahead of the Arsenal game and I was on the phone to my girlfriend. I heard a scratching at the door, then a knock. I told my girlfriend to hold on, I put my eye up to the peephole and Shearer sprayed the fire extinguisher into my eye! I couldn’t see anything, I was running around the room.

“The morning after, a few hours before the game, my eye was all swollen and I couldn’t see a damn thing.”

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