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Hadji Prefers His Beef On The Bone

To the amusement of his Coventry City team mates the Moroccan midfielder Moustapha Hadji has been playing matches with British beef steak strapped on his badly bruised instep.

One player joked:

"He has to leave the pitch after ten minutes to turn the steak over."

Another said:

"We think he cooks the steaks with chips after matches."

But 27 year old Hadji, Coventry’s record signing at £4 million from Deportivo de la Coruña, is convinced his remedy works and he has medical backing.

Dr Moss Gold, Coventry’s club physician, says:

"The cool meat soothes the pain and cushions the injury from further blows. It is clearly very effective."

The player got the unconventional idea from a physiotherapist during the World Cup Finals in France.

It is not new to this country however. Boxers in bygone days often used to hold raw beef against their bruised faces, while wicketkeepers used to slip steaks into their gloves to cushion the impact of 90 mph cricket balls hurled down by fast bowlers.

Hadji uses steak from the kitchens at Coventry’s Sky Blue Lodge training camp and has played the last seven matches with it strapped to his foot.

He scored his first goal in English football against West Ham United on Saturday, ironically with a header.

The player injured his foot in training 24 hours before playing against Derby County. He declined a painkilling injection and told the doctor he had his own methods of treatment.

He will be using beef steak when he plays for Coventry at Everton on Saturday. Another player joked:

"Good job he is not a vegetarian. Can you imagine the state of his boot if he used a nut roast?"

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Staying Up by Rick Gekoski

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 29 Sep 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM