New Southampton star Graziano Pelle recalled a time with Dutch side AZ where he played a joke on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, but didn’t get the response he was actually hoping for.
Thanks to a very impressive start in the Premier League with four goals and one assist in seven matches, Pelle has just recieved his first Italy cap at the age of 29, showing just how far he has come and the fact that he actually survived the event of trolling Van Gaal.
The video below shows the actual interview, but since it’s all in Italian, it has been translated so everyone can recall the moment Pelle try to make a fool of the Dutch manager and somehow got away with it.
Q: Tell us the weirdest thing that happened whilst you were in the Netherlands
A: There are a lot… When I was signing for AZ, I was discussing what shirt number I could have with Louis Van Gaal. I love the number 9, be it 9, 19 or 18- I’m not afraid of fate.
Anyway, I like the number 9 because it symbolizes the striker.
Van Gaal told me: “9 is taken, 19 is too… Ok, 90 or 99”. I replied: “No, no please, not those high numbers. Which number are you going to give me?” He: “29 or 39”… And I said: “I don’t like 29 very much”.
Van Gaal said: “Then 90 or 99”, and I reiterated my disappointment. Van Gaal is very strict and I eventually said: “Then I’m not signing for the club”. He got very angry, stood up and went to my agent and said to him: “How dare this guy to do something like that?”
I then told him that I was joking. He is a great coach too.