Tough man of soccer proves that he's a sweetheart underneath

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 May, 2008, 12:00am

Juventus players aren't the only Italian footballers in town this week. Fiorentina star Christian Vieri was here on Tuesday to promote his own casual wear label at Causeway Bay's Fashion Walk.

Although the striker might be the scariest-looking forward this side of Vinnie Jones, he's a nice guy at heart.

He proved this by signing autographs and starting a decidedly un-macho T-shirt line called Sweet Years five years ago with footie mate Paolo Maldini. People made fun of me because it was something new to them, but that's what people do when they see something new,' Vieri explained.

'When we are not training, we've got a lot of free time and there are a lot of things that you can do. I am very happy we did this.'

He started promoting the shirts by wearing them under his jersey. When he scored, he would pull the jersey over his head to reveal his heart-shaped logo.

'I don't do it anymore because they changed their rules and said if you put something underneath your shirt in the championship or in a competition, they will fine you Euro100,000 (HK$1.2 million).'

Vieri's promo tour next takes him to Beijing and Tokyo, so he will miss the Juventus versus South China friendly in town tonight. But he had a bit of advice for local players Cheng Siu-wai and Tales Schutz. 'Watch out for [Alessandro] Del Piero.'