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26 jerseys and the anthem
Cristina Cubero for Mundo Deportivo.com
Francesco Coco says good-bye to Barcelona "alla Siciliana"

The family gathered in Barcelona. 'Il nono', who turned 81, perfectly dressed in dark gray, with that deep eyes of the southern people, marking his protection of those of his own with a simple gesture. The left Sicily four years ago, him and his modern wife of 80 years-old. They traveled Form Milan to spend with the grandson they raised, Francesco, the last hours in Barcelona. That means being a Sicilian. The family surrounds you, protects you or simply, supports you. Francesco Coco made his bags to go back home. 26 Barça's jerseys with is name - "My kin must have a souvenir of this year" - and a CD with the blaugrana's anthem, "I hum it because I like the rythm and the feeling it gives me".

´Nono´ Francesco tells when Franci was an 8 year old boy and played in the team of the Legnano neighborhood. "One day I told him I was going to give him 5.000 lira each time he would score a goal and since that day in each match he scored at least 2 goals. This year I would still have to pay you a few liras…", he joked. Just one goal, in the Generalitat Cup. Far away from last season's five goals with Milan, one of them against Barça in the Champions League, far away from the 16 assists that he shared with the rossonero attack, when with Zaccheroni he conquered the scudetto. But that's what there is. Barça signed Coco without knowing what he could give and like this he leaves Barcelona after offering only strokes of his good football. It's that when he arrived, Carles Rexach thought he played on the right wing, even his debut with Barça was in substitution of Carles Puyol. Coco was lucky that Puyol was the best blaugrana on the filed because there's where Rexach wanted him, on the right line.

Coco was signed by Gaspart in a speedy operation. He was one of those untouchable players for Milan, a franchise footballer, but he told Turkish Fatih Terim, in one training session, to go where you can imagine… Terim not only didn't understand calcio, his gestures were full of an incredible arrogance. Like this AC Milan agreed to send Coco away, to Barcelona. And Rexach insisting with the right line. It has an explanation, Coco is left-handed and this put the blaugrana coach out of balance. But in eight years as a professional he only played twice on the right line and because a teammate was injured.

It's history now. Likewise when he let go the lapidary phrase in the derby at Montjuic when he was substituted in the 30th minute: "And then they say the mafia is in Italy…". Barça lost that match. Everything was forgotten. He takes a football lesson with him: how to make a man to man mark. It was ordered by Rexach in Pucela. "Follow Tote through the whole pitch!". And Francesco was so stunned he answered "Who? "Totti (Roma's striker)? But what number he wears?" He spent 80 minutes following Tote, even back to the locker room!

He's back in Italy knowing he has entered Barcelona's history as the first Italian player to defend the blaugrana shirt in more than 100 years of life. The fans love him. They know his strength, his dedication, his winning character. And they thank him because he was the only one capable of scaring Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League. Coco said that Madrid went out "gloomy" and everything almost ends in an historic turn over.

Don't miss the World Cup of Italy. There Coco is an undisputed starter. And he plays where he makes differences. He'll be back in Barcelona to visit his friends, to have dinner in Tramonti or the pizzeria in Urgell street that became his second home. To have a laugh with Kluivert, hug Puyol, or simply to happily argue with Luis Enrique about fashion. The football player has only been able to show details of his good football, the person has shown he's an authentic Sicilian: in Barcelona he leaves his friends of blood.

Coco bad, very, very bad...
Caira Martínez for coco-online.tripod.com

"Could it be your hair? Could it be your laughter? Could it be your body? Or your caresses?" like this goes the lyrics of a very famous merengue song I can't get out of my mind while writing this. And what it has to do with Coco? Well, in Francesco Coco's case, all of the above can be applied for him or we can ad the sizzling Mediterranean summer as well?

The truth is that Coco hasn't ceased to appear in the front page of the newspapers of every kind (from the sportive ones till the gossip magazines). Above all he's a very attr-ACTIVE man… he switches clubs and what's more switches girlfriends…
He stole many front pages with his transfer to Inter since these are the archrivals of his former club… he was even called a traitor in Milan. Then with the dramatism he gave to the World Cup match when he suffered the famous cut in his eyebrow.
Now when it should be his period of "leisure", Coco is more active than ever.

First he was spotted with a brunette, named "Miss Israel". We don't know her name, neither on which year she was queen… she is just a dressed jumble of curls.

Like this a sportive diary of Barcelona recounts the escapade of the footballer:
"Coco has fun in Porto Cervo with Miss Israel. The ex blaugrana and actually in the lines of Inter, Francesco Coco, has been spotted recently in a discoteque dancing tightly with Miss Israel."

The pictures showed up immediately, the Italian gossip magazine Novella2000 didn't lose time and published a full page dedicated to "Mister Sicilia". See pictures.

Oh! Football and beautiful women is still "in" this season… whether if they're models, tv presenters, dancers… well, the beauty queens couldn't get away from it.

However the gossip didn't stop there… Soon afterwards, when the party night was over, he was seen with none the less than Samantha De Grenet.

Samantha De what? Dah! De Grenet… for those who didn't know it, she is "famous" for been involved in more (many more) than one affaire with people like Totti, Pippo Insaghi, and half of the Italian team. She is 7 years older than him, but for being over her 30s she has nothing to envy to any 20 year old girl… you know the plastic lasts forever…
So, after so much explaining we agree that Coco and De Grenet is understandable and logic… If only life could be this simple, sadly it isn't… because suddenly there were Coco, De Grenet, and Insaghi. Well, in this love triangle there is one to spare and it ain't our dear Sammy.

What would Trapattoni say? His boys fighting over a girl. I don't think Pippo fought for his role as a starter that much. Believe it or not there were insults and a few say there were one or two punches. And to make it worse, they not only play in the same national team, but for teams that are capable of splitting an entire city… One's a Milanista, the other an Interista… and if things keep going like this we'll see if the derby of the Madonnina turns into something more than a duel of titans… could it also become a duel of lover boys?

Ver Transcripción del chat de Coco en Mundo Deportivo.com >>