Paolo DI CANIO : The Volcano

"You must always play to the whistle." That's one of the first lessons you are taught as a young footballer - but one which experienced Manchester United keeper Fabien Barthez did not heed in January 2001. And it proved costly as the Premier League champions were surprisingly dumped out in the fourth round of the FA Cup by West Ham. The only ray of sunshine in the Hammers season. The Undeniable Fact of this game was the Batrhez-Di Canio's duel. On the only goal of this game Barthez thought the Italian striker was offside and stood still with one arm in the air but Di Canio ignored both him and the partisan Old Trafford crowd to score a goal that sealed an unlikely 1-0 win for the Hammers. West Ham goal hero Paolo di Canio says that Fabien Barthez's attempts to psyche him out at Old Trafford did not work for a moment "He tried to stop me. He tried to make my brain a little bit confused, but I have played 15 years at the top level and have a little bit of experience in these situations. It is better to score and then see whether the goalkeeper is right or wrong". The Maverick Italian was not duped. He did play to the whistle, expertly firing under Barthez - whose despairing dive was too late - with the outside of his right boot. The 76th-minute strike proved to be the winner in a 1-0 away success and saw the east London side earn their first win at Old Trafford since 1986.

As you see at the end of the video, West Ham Young captain Frank Lampard is so happy after this brilliant qualification but one year before his partnership with Di Canio was...a little bit more complicated. Everybody knows this famous video of Lampard and Di Canio arguing over a penalty. But it's important to know all the story about this game. First step the video of this famous argue between the two playmakers :

Step 2 : Why Di Canio absolutely wanted to shot this penalty ? At this moment West Ham had been trailied 4-2 to Bradford in a league game at Upton Park. And just before this penalty Paolo Di Canio demands to be substituted after the ref turns down three penalty appeals. He came and sat down and told Harry Redknapp (West Ham's manager) : "I cannot play on . . . the referee is crazy. Take me off now". Have a look at this video when Di Canio demands to be substituted :

Step 3 : A fantastic Drama ! AS you know now Di Canio stayed on the pitch. Redknapp said : "Paolo, we are losing 3-1, get back on !" Di Canio ended up wrestling with Frank Lampard over who took a penalty. Paolo snatched the ball, scored and West Ham eventually won 5-4. And Frank LAMPARD scored the winning goal with an assist by........ Paolo DI CANIO. Football is magic. All the goals of this crazy game :

The stickers of the Hammers 1999-2000 (Clic on the pictures below for the highest resolution)
And the stickers of the Hammers 2000-01

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