When your nickname is Mad Canine, it’s truthful to say you’re more likely to have a giant fame. Thomas Gravesen lives as much as his.
The previous Everton, Celtic, and Actual Madrid midfielder was like a grenade the dressing room in all places he went, and his life after soccer makes him a surprisingly enigmatic determine now.
Let’s begin with the nuts and bolts of it. Nuts being the important thing phrase – Gravesen simply wasn’t like every other footballer.
To begin with, throw all the things out of the window you thought you knew. The Dane was higher than you keep in mind, simply typically unwilling to comply with exact tactical directions, significantly at Celtic.
Simply watch again his highlights in opposition to Barcelona in April, 2005, on the Bernabeu – a 4-2 win for Los Blancos and he’s in entrance of the back-four in a midfield diamond.
Gravesen has some rash moments, some awkward and barely ungainly actions, however these are going to indicate up whenever you share the pitch with Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Raul and Ronaldo, and are taking part in reverse Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
He robs Ronaldinho of the ball on a number of events, bullies a younger Iniesta off the ball, makes exterior of the boot passes and sweeping switches, whereas additionally combining expertly with Zidane in some tight conditions. Not unhealthy in any respect.
However that air of bull in a china store actually did earn him a fame.
In a Madrid derby in March 2006, Gravesen put in one other strong show, however a wild-eyed row with Fernando Torres flared up after an off-the-ball barge, whereas Pablo Ibanez tried to actual revenge by punching him within the chest at a nook.
He fought with Robinho in a single coaching session and teammate Julio Baptista advised Cadena SER: “It was humorous. Think about Gravesen, who was a bit loopy, working at Robinho and grumbling angrily.
“He gave him a kick, then one other one. Robinho stopped, checked out him and shoved him within the chest, after which it kicked off. Gravesen needed to kill him.
“They had been separated however Robinho went again to the altering rooms and Gravesen regarded and me and stated, ‘I’m going to kill him.’”
In one other coaching session he had a wrestle with Ronaldo and by accident knocked out one among his enamel.
Oh, and on his Actual Madrid debut in opposition to Actual Zaragoza, none apart from Pele was in attendance, and kicked off the match.
Preventing would see his paths cross with one other sporting maverick – Mike Tyson.
In a World Cup qualifier in opposition to Iceland in 2001, Gravesen had one among his greatest ever video games, scoring twice. One a deft chip, the opposite a rasping lengthy vary effort in a 6-Zero win, and the boxing legend was within the stands.
In Denmark to face Brian Nielsen, Tyson was enamoured with the midfielder, who additionally received right into a scrap or two, and requested for his shirt earlier than sporting it to his weigh-in, and all through his time within the nation.
“I don’t know if he nonetheless has it – I hope he has, or else,” he joked to FourFourTwo.
Now, what had been we saying a few grenade within the dressing room? Nicely, possibly we should always say a firework.
Former teammate James McFadden described him as ‘hyper’ and a ‘nightmare’ in group situations, as soon as bringing a paintball gun into coaching and capturing individuals.
“He introduced fireworks in at some point,” the ex-Scotland worldwide advised Open Objective. “The physio man was the fittest man on the entire membership. He was 50, used to play, however in the event you had been injured he would do the working with you, so whenever you ran he rested and when he ran you rested… So he was out working and Tommy’s received this huge rocket and shot him, shot the rocket at him.”
That wasn’t the one incident with fireworks both with David Moyes revealing Gravesen and Everton prodigy Wayne Rooney confronted off with one another.
He advised Open Objective: “They had been within the gymnasium, it at Bellefield it was possibly at the moment 60 yards lengthy and I believe it was him and Wayne they usually had been holding the fireworks at one finish of the gymnasium to one another they usually had been capturing the fireworks.
“Truly we had a man who used to come back in, in Liverpool as you possibly can think about, who would promote us something and he had huge rockets, thick and lengthy, a whole lot of gunpowder and, you understand, they had been holding one finish and capturing them at one another.
“I’m the supervisor, I’m the one who is meant to be saying ‘cease that, will you!’ However they’d already finished it.”
Though he had his wild aspect, he was an excellent man, and lovable however at Actual, supervisor Fabio Capello branded him ‘peculiar’, a declare which McFadden and others can simply get up.
It’s stated he didn’t have any payments aside from his cellphone and was all the time eager on saving cash, whereas Alan Stubbs revealed he would swap between a Nissan Micra and a Porsche Turbo when coming into coaching.
Summer season holidays had been spent in his mom’s basement taking part in video video games, in keeping with Celtic teammates.
Former Everton captain David Weir recollects Gravesen even discovered it arduous to depart the membership for Actual, when he joined them in a £2.5million transfer in January 2005.
“Actual Madrid had signed him,” he recalled. “Tommy is within the canteen and he didn’t wish to go. Actual Madrid had despatched this personal jet… and you can inform he simply didn’t wish to go.”
Whereas on the finish of his profession at Celtic, throughout an Outdated Agency derby, Gravesen spent the primary half asking Rangers ace Barry Ferguson if he knew any good eating places in Glasgow.
Previous to returning to Denmark in recent times, Gravesen, after retiring in 2009 aged 32, was to be discovered dwelling out his days in Las Vegas, reportedly taking part in poker with huge sums of cash.
Rumours swirled about how he received there, to an unique a part of city the place Nicolas Cage and Andre Agassi had been his neighbours – however he’s saved his playing cards near his chest about that.
His cause for return to his homeland to work as a pundit? “I missed soccer,” he stated.
Requested if he was as mad as individuals thought, Gravesen advised Sky Sports activities: “No, not an opportunity. I wasn’t. I simply cherished it a lot and the eagerness I’ve for soccer, it shined by and that, for me, is likely one of the essential issues for me. I used to be only a comfortable lad.”