Mitten in Milan: outcasts, communists & best-sellers
Greetings from the murk of Milan, where IÃ¢ÂÂve finally seen United get a win in the San Siro.
IÃ¢ÂÂm meeting a Milan season ticket holder shortly who gave us a fascinating interview for the current United We Stand.
Asked to name his best ever Milan team from players heÃ¢ÂÂd seen, he came up with: Sebastiano Rossi, Mauro Tassotti, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Franco Baresi (captain), Roberto Donadoni, Frankie Rijkaard, Marco van Basten, KakÃÂ , Andriy Shevchenko.
Not a bad side, eh?
Later, IÃ¢ÂÂll fly to Sao Paulo ahead of an interview with Socrates and the Sao Paulo derby on Sunday.
I went flat out to get things done before the Milan trip.
Finally did the interview with Gerard Pique and received a lovely email from the footballer James Scowcroft. He told me that heÃ¢ÂÂs a United fan and subscribes to UWS.
Ã¢ÂÂI used to play for Ipswich in the 90s,Ã¢ÂÂ he wrote modestly. Ã¢ÂÂWe once met in Leicester.Ã¢ÂÂ
He was at Crystal Palace last season and now plays at Leyton Orient.
Scowcroft is a United fan (his dad is from Gorton, where Nicky Butt grew up) and will write a piece about being a United fan and professional footballer.
Ã¢ÂÂThereÃ¢ÂÂs a few of us,Ã¢ÂÂ he continued. Ã¢ÂÂIncluding Nicky Summerbee, but he canÃ¢ÂÂt go to games.Ã¢ÂÂ
If Summerbee feels that heÃ¢ÂÂll get abuse for his City connections, IÃ¢ÂÂll take him in K Stand myself and make sure the lads look after him.
Imagine being a fan of a club and not being able to go to matches.
Summerbee and his bedroom wallpaper
SummerbeeÃ¢ÂÂs dad Mike is great friends with Paddy Crerand, who I met last night in Milan.
When he wasnÃ¢ÂÂt arguing with hacks about communism, he asked me what the badge was on my coat.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a Glasgow Rangers supportersÃ¢ÂÂ club IÃ¢ÂÂm setting up,Ã¢ÂÂ I lied, as his brain clicked into Ã¢ÂÂkillÃ¢ÂÂ mode.
Ã¢ÂÂA what?!Ã¢ÂÂ he fumed.
The publishers of Glory Glory called on Friday.
ItÃ¢ÂÂs done alright and has already made a profit, but the bookshop Borders going bust and problems with WaterstoneÃ¢ÂÂs computer system hampered book sales across the board during the key Christmas market.
I guess I should have been pleased, what with the recession and all that, but I put my heart and soul into that book and so did many of the players.
Not one of them needed to tell me as much as they did. I travelled Europe, flew to Stockholm for Blomqvist and drove to Marseille for Cantona.
Then I worked my socks off promoting it. So, I probably hoped for more than the 5,000 copies sold so far in hardback, no matter how many people point out that is a success.
On the book-tour circuit...
Three days later, TalkSport called. Ã¢ÂÂCan we set up an interview about your book? WeÃ¢ÂÂd like to do it in a studio and do it in-depth.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂFine,Ã¢ÂÂ I replied, Ã¢ÂÂbut why the interest now? The bookÃ¢ÂÂs been out since October.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂHave you seen Paddy BarclayÃ¢ÂÂs column in todayÃ¢ÂÂs Times?Ã¢ÂÂ
I hadnÃ¢ÂÂt, but I was delighted when I did.
Emails started to come in. Someone suggested that I look on Amazon, where I found the book was doing rather well. In fact it was number 1 in the football section. Number 1!
I work alone and had nobody to tell.
My fiancÃÂ©e came back from the supermarket to find me singing Ã¢ÂÂViva Ronaldo!Ã¢ÂÂ for reasons I still donÃ¢ÂÂt fully understand. HeÃ¢ÂÂs not even in the book.
And IÃ¢ÂÂm not sure what the Catalan neighbours must have thought either, hearing songs about a Real Madrid player at 11am on a Monday morning.
Ã¢ÂÂTimes readers buy books,Ã¢ÂÂ pointed out one friend.
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