Football

Keith Gillespie Attempts To Sum Up The Absolute Madman That Was Tino Asprilla

Keith Gillespie Attempts To Sum Up The Absolute Madman That Was Tino Asprilla

BeIn Sport have recently launched a new series called 'Sporing Mavericks', where they look at some of the more eccentric characters to have made a name for themselves down the years, and in the episode about former Newcastler United and Parma striker Tino Asprilla the revelations were always bound to be outrageous.

The show, which features an interview with Asprilla and testimonies from Keith Gillespie and John Bresford among others, recalls multiple facets to back up the Colombian's womanising, rogue, and generally bizarre reputation.

Mostly remembered by Newcastle fans for his hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League in 1997, Asprilla reveals that he almost didn't play due to an argument with Kenny Daglish (he ditched a team meeting to go and see two girls) - but what's even more surprising is just how little he knew about Newcastle before he ever signed for them:

When they told me I was going to be in a city that was by sea the first thing I thought was great! I'm going to be on the beach. I'm going to be sailing yachts.

But it turned out that actually the sea there is really dangerous.

Keith Gillespie weighs in with many character assessments of the man and recalled one moment that still baffles the squad to this day:

His dress sense wasn't the best, one time he arrived with a snorkel, flippers and a jock strap on - players didn't have a clue what was happening and he was barking out orders in Spanish, obviously nobody understood, but that was the unpredictability of the man.

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Gillespie also said that Tino's timekeeping was outrageously bad that he only turned up to training early once - and it was because he didn't know the clocks changed.

We had to be in training for 10 o clcok, tino would arrive in at about 10.20 usually, we'd all be ready and gathered on the training pitch when we'd see him going in the door to go get changed.

One day he turned up at 9.20, he hadn't realised the clocks had changed, for once he'd actually turned up early.

Asprilla's love of sex was something that was noticed everywhere he went with the striker regularly missing work obligations to engage with his lady friends, and despite the show containing many references to this there was one particular story that stood out.

Former Newcastle Left-back John Beresford recalled how teams used to put videos on the bus when coming back from away games and there was one day when Tino insisted they showed his.

Eventually giving in, the squad let Asprilla stick in the cassette which they were expecting to be a Spanish film they wouldn't understand - what it turned out to be was a "full on" movie of Tino's then-girlfriend and another man in an apartment.

Tino now spends his days attending to animals on his farm as well as hoarding sugar cane and promoting his line of condoms which he plans on releasing in Newcastle.

Gavin O'Callaghan

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