They Aren’t My Amigos

No to Newco. Boot them out of the SFA and the SPL.

Can I go a bit off topic now?

When I hear Celtic fans or radio broadcasters talking about ‘the 3 amigos’ (for you youngsters this means Paolo Di Canio, Pierre Van Hooijdonk and Jorge Cadete) I cringe a little every time.

It amazes me how people look back on them so fondly.

It’s not that I don’t remember the goals or the great play or even the great songs. However, I am also unable to disassociate that from who these people are.

I’ll start briefly with the two money-grabbers before I get to the fascist.

Jorge Cadete was a talented striker no doubt about it. So talented in fact that the SFA in the Jim Farry days delayed his registration to stop him playing for us in an important game.

In his only full season he scored 33 goals in 44 games and was one of the best penalty box strikers we have had in modern times.

Nevertheless, when the whiff of the euro reached him from Spain (Celta Vigo), Cadete did not show up for pre-season training the next season and began to mess the club around:  he was subsequently transferred.

It didn’t finish there either. A few years later and well past his prime, obviously needing more euros and after a spell on Big Brother, he returned to Scotland and tried to reingratiate himself to the Celtic support by going on TV and speaking about why he should never have left Celtic and wanted to come back. Then manager Martin O’Neill didn’t bite so Cadete agreed to sign for Raith Rovers before proceeding to do a Judas (he was photographed in the shirt and everything) and go to Partick Thistle. I am not sure this is the stuff of Celtic heroes.

Pierre van Hooijdonk was another excellent striker. 57 goals in 68 matches is an exceptional record by any standard.

However, his attitude didn’t endear to many at Celtic. It has been alleged that he refused to commit to doing any of the club’s charity work. When the time came for contract negotiations and he said on the radio that £7,000 may be good for a homeless person, but £7,000 a week is not good enough for a top class forward” I think that should have excluded him from Celtic great status. After the arguments over the contract he was transferred down south.

He went on to fanny about Nottingam Forest for a while before being scammed for a couple of million euros by a non-existent Chinese textile company.

And now to the meat and bones of it.

Paolo di Canio is a self-confessed fascist  and was also as much of a money-grabber as the other two, though I think the second fact is nothing compared to the first one.

Let’s hear it from the man himself. After making a fascist salute (which he did more than once) to the Lazio supporters he had this to say…

“I am a fascist, not a racist.”

“I give the straight arm salute because it is a salute from a ‘camerata’ to ‘camerati’,” (this is the Italian for members of Mussolini’s fascist movement).

“The salute is aimed at my people. With the straight arm I don’t want to incite violence and certainly not racial hatred,”

Oh well, that’s alright then. He has “Dux” which is Latin for “Duce” as a tattoo and he also described Mussolini as…

basically a very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood”.

He now seems to go on about Samurai culture. The Samurai, if you remember, were another group like the fascists who thought very little about lopping off the head (literally or figuratively – however you like) of one of the little people who they didn’t like the look of.

I don’t know what supporting Celtic means to you, but to me it does not mean cheering on fascists, or remembering their good goals and trying to shove everything else about them down the memory hole.

Even this week he is involved in controversy with the “not a racist” part of his statement coming into some doubt.

The first of the two Amigos are money-grabbers like so many players in the modern game. They are not worse than many others who have played for us since then but I don’t think they should be held in as high-esteem as they are. For me Di Canio is a very dark moment in our history and I am certainly far from proud that he played for us.

They aren’t my amigos.

One comment

  1. “When I was playing first with Celtic it was Dundee United and Aberdeen that competed against us, so Rangers had to do something and they were very strong in the 1990’s, but they didn’t do their business properly.

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