Asprilla on being asked to run at Parma: I’m not Forrest Gump

Former Parma forward Faustino Asprilla reminisced about his time in Serie A and said he refused to run when asked to by then manager Nevio Scala because “I’m not Forrest Gump.”

The ex-Colombia international was about the most successful Parma side in history, enjoying success both domestically and on the continent.

And when asked about his time in Italy during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Asprilla said: “It was great. I was really happy at Parma straight away. We had just won the Coppa Italia then we also won the Cup Winners’ Cup at Wembley and the UEFA Super Cup against Milan.

“I had great team-mates: [Luigi] Apolloni, [Marco] Osio, [Alessandro] Melli.”

However, Asprilla was not the easiest player to coach and said he generally liked to do things his own way.

Asked about issues with Scala, he added: “I didn’t play by the rules. One day he wanted me to run around the Citadel and I said: ‘I’m not Forrest Gump’.

“For me, football has always been fun. No rules, no strategies.”

Asprilla was also famous for some of his off-field antics and asked about one particular incident in January 1995, he replied: “I celebrated New Year shooting four or five times in the air with a revolver.

“I was famous so the police took me to the station and called the Parma directors, who paid my bail. And on Sunday I needed to be on the pitch for Parma-Juventus. Let’s just say it wasn’t the best preparation.”

moving to Brazil 18 months later. 

Across his two spells with Parma, as well as the Cup Winners’ Cup, he also won the UEFA Cup twice. 

In between he was at Newcastle United where he earned two Premier League runners-up spots and famously scored a hat-trick against Barcelona in the Champions League. 

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