Napoli’s former midfielder Matuzalem has extraordinarily claimed he could not stop eating cheese – blaming his dairy habit for failing at the Italian club.
The Brazilian appeared 61 times for the club in a two-year spell that ended in 2001 but fell down the pecking order towards the end of his time in Naples.
The 39-year-old, who is now retired, told Gianluca Di Marzio via Goal that he could not blame former boss Emiliano Mondonico for scrapping him from the team as he was piling on the pounds and effectively became addicted to Mozzarella.
He said: “Mozzarella, my god! I couldn’t help it: I ate so much that I lost my physical condition and Mondonico began to keep me on the bench.
“I don’t blame him, I was embarrassing.”
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“I was overjoyed [at Napoli], but completely unaware of the world I was in. As soon as I arrived there, I asked coach [Walter] Novellino: ‘When do we play against Juventus and Inter?
“He replied: ‘You would do well to forget it, because we are still in Serie B’.
“Fortunately, the promotion would come at the end of the season.”
‘I CAN ONLY BE HAPPY’
Matuzalem is probably best known to Italian fans for his spell at Lazio which lasted five years between 2008-2013.
The veteran Brazilian he reflected that he could have trained harder during his time in the Italian capital.
He said: “My time at Lazio could’ve lasted longer if I’d been more rigorous in my training,
“I would’ve liked to play in a World Cup too, but looking back over how my life could’ve gone, I can only be happy with the path I took.
“I won’t hide it: if it hadn’t been for that trial at Vitoria Bahia I would have ended up with many of my childhood friends – in jail or in the cemetery. We lived in a poor neighbourhood, drugs and delinquency were on the agenda.”
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Matuzalem also wore the shirt of Brescia, Shaktar Donetsk, Real Zaragoza and Genoa among others.
The journeyman hung up his boots in 2018 but has hit the headlines with his bizarre revelation.
His confession about being unable to stop eating cheese and its detrimental impact on his performances during his second season playing at Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo must be one of the craziest excuses we have ever heard.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced with permission.
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