Soccer's Cabrini moonlights as a novelist

Mon Jan 5, 2009 8:48am EST
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By Paul Virgo

ROME (Reuters Life!) - Former Italy defender Antonio Cabrini is not the first retired soccer player to write a book and he will not be the last.

What sets the 1982 World Cup-winner aside is that, instead of the usual autobiography packed with anecdotes of his glory days and gossip about team mates, he has made his publishing debut with a work of fiction.

Ricatto Perfetto (Perfect Blackmail) is the story of Alan Bussetti, an unemployed journalist who seeks to dig his way out of dire financial straits by blackmailing some old friends.

"I find books about football and sport predictable. When you've read one, they are more or less all the same," the 51-year-old told Reuters at the novel's Rome presentation.

"The world of football is what it is, you can't reveal anything unusual.

"I, on the other hand, got excited about the idea of telling a story outside my world. I think I'm the first former athlete to write a novel rather than a book about their world."

Cabrini did not take any creative writing courses before starting the book, penned in breaks between coaching jobs.

It is set in Turin in the 1990s, but the theme of coping with hard economic times makes it highly topical.   Continued...