African Footballer of the Year played with steak in his boot for Coventry City
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Mustapha Hadji – who was crowned African Footballer of the Year in 1998 – once played with a raw steak in his boot.
Hadji had been one of the breakout stars of the 1998 World Cup, where he left fans purring at his performances for Morocco. AC Milan had been interested in his services, but it was Coventry City, then of the Premier League, who won his signature.
And speaking to The Athletic, Hadji revealed he dealt with a foot injury by playing with a steak in his boot while at Coventry. The Moroccan said: "I played a few games at Coventry with a piece of steak on my foot to ease the pain."
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Hadji had also employed the raw steak in the boot tactic at the World Cup, where he suffered with a bruised foot.
He added: “It was a grandma tale. They always give you things that help you in life. But I promise you, it helps. When I played, I didn’t feel much pain in the toe. The steak… it was very well done after the game. I just needed some fries waiting for me and it would have been great!”
Hadji become something of a cult hero at Coventry – and fez's were commonplace in the stands until he left the club in 2001 for Aston Villa.
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Coventry have the golden opportunity to return to the English top flight on Saturday afternoon – when they square off with Luton in the Championship play-off final.
The Sky Blues were last in the Premier over two decades ago, when they were relegated in 2001, Hadji left the club that summer.
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- Coventry City FC
- Luton Town FC
- Premier League
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