Thursday, 4 October 2007

Italy unites against Dida

Playacting Milan goalkeeper Dida is facing a barrage of criticism from fans and officials after his spectacular over-reaction at the end of the Champions League defeat against Celtic.

Dida crashed to the ground after what looked a playful tap on the cheek by a Celtic supporter who had run onto the pitch seconds after Scott McDonald's winning goal.

And as he left Scotland this morning, Dida replied: "I'm sorry I don't speak English," when asked how he felt about the incident.

An online poll in top-selling La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper had taken more than 60,000 votes by midday with an amazing 83 per cent calling for sanctions against Dida by both UEFA and his club.

The Milan-based newspaper was highly critical of Dida its match report was headlined: "Didastro: Milan on the floor with Dida." It's correspondent wrote: "Slapped by a supporter after the decisive goal in the last minute, the giant Dida is left floored as if he had been struck by (Mike) Tyson – and he leaves on a stretcher.

"It's the last action, a symbolic image of a disgraceful night."

Every Italian paper has been scornful of Dida accusing him of playacting and awarding him four out of ten for his performance – which has already been poor this season.

He has let in several goals this season due to errors which have either gone through his legs or dropped ball.

Corriere della Sera called Dida's theatrical collapse as "embarrassing playacting" while Repubblica said his reaction was a "farce."

Even his own coach Carlo Ancelotti criticised him and said angrily on Italian TV: "He exaggerated it but the supporter should not have been on the pitch," before storming away furiously.

AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani added: "I have spoken with Silvio (Berlusconi - Milan president) about this. We will not appeal. We are European champions and we must behave like that.

"Certainly it would have been better if the fan had stayed in his seat and Celtic would have won all the same and everyone would have been happy."

Fans also vented their outrage on Milan websites – one called Silvio wrote: "How much longer do we have to put up with this circus clown Dida?

"He was hardly touched, tried to run after the fan and then thought maybe I should fall to the floor – and then to add to the embarassment he leaves on a stretcher – what an insult to AC Milan."

Another website said: "How much longer do we have to put up with Dida? If he is not gifting goals or making huge clangers then he is falling to the ground like a third rate actress.

"The quicker he goes the better."

Another fan on Gazzetta Dello Sport's website wrote: "I am a Milan fan but I truly hope that the club will take action against Dida because what he did ruined the image of the team."

Another contributor called Spiritolibero (Freespirit) said: "Dida please go – put him on Ebay if you have to."

Source: Nick Pisa (Daily Mail)

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