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Pierre Pellegri: The Pink Panther

Started on 6 May 2020 by Justice
Latest Reply on 25 May 2020 by Griffo
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
2 weeksEdited

Pierre Pellegri


08/06/1982

"GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, SALE PUTE!"

The woman's roar echoed over the Rhône and bounced back with a terrifying tenacity, startling birds and small animals with a jolt. A door burst open as a girl in her late teens rushed out, holding her half-open dress with one hand and a pair of plimsolls in the other. She ran as fast as she dared in bare feet, looking back over her shoulder with fear in her eyes. Her long blonde hair was stuck to her face with sweat but what she could see through the strands startled her.

A middle-aged woman stormed after her, with a rolling pin held menacingly over her head. Her eyes dug into the back of the girl's head as she roared more abuse in French at the perpetrator. Once the girl had sped several hundred yards away from the house, the woman lowered the pin before straightening a blue-and-white checkered apron and turning to head back inside, slamming the door on her way. Her face still bright-red from the roaring, she prepared for a second verbal assault.

"PIERRE PELLEGRI! COME HERE RIIGHT NOW! I AM ABSOLUTELY FUMING!"

A door opened from the other side of the one-story house and a set of light-and-timid footsteps approached sullenly. The woman's son entered the hallway where she waited. The twelve year old boy was midway through tucking his t-shirt into the waistband of his shorts. His skin had been darkened by the early summer's sun and his brown hair covered his eyes, with his locks pinned behind his ears. His long-flowing hair did not do much to hide the shame on his face.

The woman slapped her son across the back of his head with a towel. She was unsure whether she was more angry that her twelve year old son had engaged in an intimate activity or that the activity in question was with a girl five years his elder. Invariably, she knew she couldn't punish the girl so she focused on the former of the two.

"Pierre, you are only a child. You should not be doing that and you know it's wrong!" the woman said with a glint of worry in her voice.

"I'm sorry, mama," said the boy apologetically, scratching his head to convey innocence. "But all the other guys in my team do it. Why can't I do it?"

"They are much older than you Pierre. You are still only a child! When you are grown up, then you can make the choices to do that if you want to," pleaded the woman as she dropped to her knees to match her son's height.

"I want to be grown up now," muttered the boy under his breath.

"Pierre, my son, don't rush to be an adult. Once you are an adult, you can never be a child again. Make sure you remember that."

The boy rubbed sweat out of his eyes with the back of his hands and pondered his mother's final words. His mental state was confused by frustration of being stopped in his activity by his mother, but he knew that he could meet up with Isobelle later when his mother was not looking over his shoulder.

"Okay mama," he said. "I'm sorry. Please don't tell father, okay?"

The woman smiled at her son. She couldn't stay mad at him - he had a sweet innocence that brewed affection in others.

"I promise," she whispered, pinching his cheek in her right hand as she did so. "Now, get ready for training. Bruno and his father Monsieur Génésio will be here to pick you up soon."
Pierre the young dog! Lovely start, hopefully this one lasts more than two updates ;)
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She was FUMING. Fair play to Pierre though, when I was 12 I was almost the same level of ladiesman as him, but he just tops it ;) Great to see a new story and hope this is for the long-term!
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Bit dodgy that from the lass, I have to say!

Glad to see you back writing. I am overjoyed <3
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Sounds like the story of my life.
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Very good opening to the story, Pierre already has a way with the ladies at such a young age. Very questionable decision making from the lass on this occasion!
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Well... that is a start! Showing just how bad of an influence his teammates are haha
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Justice's avatar Group Justice
2 weeksEdited

The King Of France


16/07/2000

During the early stages of my career, my parents warned me of the risks associated with being in the spotlight as a footballer at the highest level. 'It can often be the brightest light which shines on the darkest parts of life,' they said. It was sound advice from sensible people. Their life experiences had forged a steely family. They were proud, but modest. They were cautious, but honest. They were successful in their own right, but never got too big for their boots.

That was where I differed to my parents - I thrived in the limelight. I was a diamond forged by the pressure applied by the world and I burned brightest under the magnifying glass. As I grew older and the expectations of my performances on the pitched intensified, I evolved into an insatiable footballing behemoth. There were few more prolific in front of goal than I, and I ensured that my legacy as a football player would never be forgotten.

I broke onto the scene at a young age. As a kid, I joined Olympique Lyonnais' footballing academy. I made my way through the ranks quickly. At the age of twelve, I was training alongside other academy players who were five years my elder. A week before my eighteenth birthday, I made my senior debut for the club in a Ligue 2 game against Dijon. By the end of that season (1987/1988), I had played three times. It was a disappointing one for the club as we finished in second place in our group, missing out on promotion to the top flight.

My breakthrough season came the following term. In 28 games, I scored a club-best 15 league goals to secure us first place in our Ligue 2 group. We lifted the league title and earned promotion to the top flight. It was my first taste of true fame, and I loved every second of it. The cameras flashing, the reporters chasing me, the fans mingling around me. I felt empowered. I felt like a king. It made me feel like the tallest man on the planet.

Not that I was short in height. Standing at 188cm, I was known for my physical prowess. I was strong in the air and, despite my tender age, I could hold my own in physical duels on the pitch. I was quick too, which shocked a lot of people. At jogging pace, my opponents often thought of me as lumbersome. They failed to see through my serene resonance. But when I had all cylinders firing, I was like a Ferrari in the fast lane.

I was an athlete built to compete, and I had the skills to match. I liked to take the ball into my feet, but I was more than happy to run onto the ball and strike it first time. Once I hit the ball, it stayed hit. But I didn't have much time for dribbling. I was more of an instant-impact player. Either I scored or I passed the ball on. I didn't want to waste any time in the spotlight. That wasn't for me.

My stock continued to grow in the French top flight. While Lyon struggled for consistency - one season placing among the top teams, the next fighting against relegation - I continued to provide a lethal touch at the right end of the pitch. A Ligue 1 Golden Boot award for myself in the 1994/1995 season meant that I could not be ignored by the French National Team. The media were baying for my inclusion in the squad.

Then-manager Aimé Jacquet duly obliged in September 1995, for a European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan. The game was played in Auxerre, in front of our home support, and I lived up to the hype. In a 10-0 game, I scored six goals. I wanted two match balls, but the referees only allowed me to take one. My reaction made the front page of every national paper the next day as I showed the world my most important set of match balls in protest.

My stock in football continued to grow over the next few years. For Lyon, I continued to lead the line with a formidable scoring record. A second Golden Boot came my way in the 1996/1997 season but the Ligue 1 title continued to elude us over the years as we struggled for consistency. We should have been proud of our progress over the years, but we wanted more. We lost key players along the way. Laurent Fornier left in 1988, Joël Fréchet in 1989, Rémi Gardi and Pascal Fugier in 1993. Bruno Génésio, who broke onto the scene just a few years before me, departed in 1995.

The 90s may have seen Lyon become re-established as a strong Ligue 1 outfit, but it was the end of an era for me. Those who I looked up to as a child had left. Now I was the player that the academy youngsters at the club looked up to. I took on that responsibility with pride. It wasn't a weight that dragged me down - it was a weight that I used to make me stronger. It was more fuel for the fire that burned in my chest.

1996 brought with it my first taste of international competition. The European Championship was a competition that we were expected to compete for. For me, it was my first time in England. The weather was annoyingly shit for summer time. Lining up alongside Zidane, Lizarazu, Blanc and co. didn't do much to help the pain we felt when we were knocked out by Czech Republic in the semi finals. It was a heartbreaking moment at Old Trafford.

In retrospect, our failure in England made us stronger. That showed in 1998 when we hosted the World Cup. France was centre-stage and we were out to show the world exactly what we were capable of. National pride was at an all-time high as we stormed to the final. Brazil were our opponents, and were the favourites, but we were better. Zidane played his best ever game, scoring twice as he left Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Cafu and friends with their jaws planted on the floor. I finished the game with a stoppage time goal as we stormed to a 3-0 win. It was the first time we lifted the World Cup, and it was the highest point of my career. Zidane and myself were kings of football at that moment.



My rise to fame saw the media place plenty of focus on my social life. I trained hard, but I partied harder. My life was lavish - a product of the hard work I had put into my career. Big house, fancy cars, sexy women and private bars - I had it all. I often appeared on the front of French magazines and featured regularly in Vogue, typically with a scantily clad model draped on top of me. I invested in property in Paris, Milan, New York, and Los Angeles. I signed lucrative sponsorship and commercial deals. I was a superstar, and I loved it.

Bernard Lacombe was my manager at Lyon during my rise to international mainstream fame. He had no issues with my showmanship off the pitch as the goals kept flowing. In 1999, we claimed 3rd place domestically. In 2000, we retained that position comfortably, and I posted my second-best goal scoring season at the club with a 25 goal haul. The new millennium came at the right time for us, and the club was ready to beckon in a new age of glory.

For me, the high point of 2000 was internationally, yet again. I traveled with the National Team to Belgium and the Netherlands as we looked to continue our elite form. Competition for places up front was stiff. Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Sylvain Wiltord all ventured to the tournament alongside me. We were the best attack in the world.

We made the tournament more difficult for ourselves than it should have been. Victories over Denmark and Czech Republic set us up nicely in the group stage, but we finished second in that round as we were overcome by a strong Netherlands outfit. We then struggled against an inferior Spain side in the quarter finals. It was tough, but we squeezed through.

The rest of the tournament became a tale of our late glories. Portugal proved excellent opposition in the semi finals. Zidane's golden goal penalty saw us progress to the final, where the Italians were ready to give us a battle for the ages. Delvecchio struck for them and the trophy was set to for the Azzuri, until a stoppage time Wiltord equaliser.

Then came my big moment. Zidane's back post cross sat up nicely for me during the Golden Goal period. I threw my head at the ball and put everything I could into a last-ditch strike. As I spun on my way to the ground, I heard the roar of the crowd before I rolled over to see the result. I had secured another golden moment for French football. I had become the undoubted king of France.

The World Cup was a bigger moment for France, but the European Championship was a bigger moment for me. I was the undoubted hero of the nation and I celebrated for a week. I don't remember most of what happened during that spell, but the French papers made sure to keep me up to date with my own actions as I was pictured with a new girl, or girls, every single day. The reports split opinion among football fans but I didn't care - I fed off the press' attention.

Settling down after the celebrations, I had a major decision to make. My contract with Lyon was technically expired, but still active, as it expired during the European Championship. Negotiations were postponed until later into the summer, and Lyon was prepared to offer me a league-high salary. But money wasn't on my mind - I had plenty of it. I wasn't interested in trophies either - I won plenty of those with the National Team.

So, what did I want? Lyon was expected to compete for silverware over the next few years. The recent arrivals of Grégory Coupet, Steed Malbranque, Sonny Anderson, Sidney Govou, and others, ensured that. We had genuine talent in our squad. But I was bored of France. I wanted to go somewhere where I could enjoy my life even more. Football was no longer a priority - it had become a hobby for me. My love for the sport never faded, but my love for life was greater.

As I found myself exiting a hired private jet to be met by the bright sunshine on the island of Sicily, and the even brighter lights of the camera lenses as paparazzi swarmed to capture my first moments with my new club, I knew I had made the right choice. I smiled and winked at the cameras as I was marshaled into a black saloon car with darkened windows and brought away from the airspace.

After what seemed just a matter of minutes, I was overlooking the Stadio Renzo Barbera. I had a smile on my face and a signed contract in my hands. At the age of 30, I had taken the next step in my football adventure, to enjoy the fine points of life. My new chairman, Sergio D'Antoni stood in front of me. Alongside the balding politician was his personal assistant, an smoothly-tanned Italian woman in her early twenties who would have given any movie star a run for their money with her looks and smile.

"Welcome to Palermo, Pierre! I hope you settle into your new club quickly," said the cheerful politician, smug in the knowledge that he had just secured the signature of football's most famous player.

His gaze was not met by my own - mine was firmly fixed on his assistant. I was happy to have signed the contract, but my desires were elsewhere at the time. A cheeky smirk covered my face as my facial muscles were once again controlled by my most basic urges.

"Oh believe me, Mister D'Antoni," I replied, "I already feel right at home."



Replies

All, thank you for your support already! I can't promise consistency in updating, but I can try ;)
An absolute wild-spirit that cannot be contained I think! When you've got the talent, I suppose you can be as wild and obscene as you like.
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And that is how, boys and girls... the pink panther... was born!
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Certainly an interesting character, looking forward to how he does in his time with Palermo!
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The Pink Panther


Inspired by the 2006 movie of the same name.

14/05/2006

It was fair to say there were plenty of question marks over my move to Palermo. Everybody else involved in football, from fellow players to the fans at home, considered it to be a major step down in class - perhaps they were right. I had gone from being consistently among the top scorers in France's Ligue 1 division and scoring in World Cup and European Championship winning finals for my country to signing for a team in Italy's third tier.

Most French football fans respected my decision - I had endeared myself to them with my performances on the pitch, and fascinated them with my rather well-publicised public life. I was one of the leading faces of football within the game and in mainstream media, and I was somewhat of a symbol of the glory days of French football.

However, there were those who showed no respect. They condemned my decision as 'unpatriotic' and 'selfish'. In their eyes - I wasn't allowed to do anything with my life aside from football, and only French football at that. These people didn't want me to have any life outside of that boundary. I paid them no heed.

My arrival on the island of Sicily sparked an influx of paparazzi activity. It was the most exciting event in the club's history. Once upon a time a Serie A club, Palermo had not participated in the top flight since 1973, and had not played in the Serie B since 1997. The fans hoped that I would help change both facts during my time at the club.

I had turned 30 just a few months prior to my arrival at the club and I signed for Palermo expecting to see out the rest of my career in Italian football. I purchased a seaside mansion in the town of Addaura, just a few kilometres north of Palermo. The weather was almost always fine and made my transition from the French climate much easier. The local women and the wine certainly helped too.

On the pitch, I helped the club to instant success. The goals did not flow immediately for me, I instead focused on playing a more creative role in my first few seasons. My first season, 2000/2001, saw us win the Serie C1 title and earning promotion back to the second tier. Progress had been made in such a short space of time, and was attributed to the unique pace of play of our team.

Serie B brought with it many challenges. We earned two mid-table finished in the following two season but the 2003/2004 season was a magnificently successful one. The arrivals of striker Luca Toni and winger Simone Pepe bolstered our attack, and together we dominated the Italian second tier. I bagged 31 goals that season as we earned promotion back to Serie A. The glory days were back.

Our reputation preceded us in the Italian top flight, and we were strengthened by the good playing additions, most notably Simone Barone, Fabio Grosso, Andrea Barzagli and Cristian Zaccardo. We were ready to man an assault on the top places in the division. Toni and I forged a formidable partnership up front, putting opposition down with considerable ease. We earned a respectable sixth place finish for our work.

Luca Toni left in the summer of 2005, leaving me as our only potent striker for the following season. The season was to be my last at the club. My contract was due to expire and I was planning on moving to the United States to finish my career. LA Galaxy had offered me a month-to-month contract to play in the MLS, and opportunity I wanted to take up despite the league's lowly reputation.

The Palermo fans understood my decision - I turned 36 during the latter stages of the season and didn't have much left in the tank. I had helped to bring the club back to the top flight, earning qualification for European football on the way. In 2006, we reached the Last 16 of the UEFA Cup. Unfortunately, Germany side Schalke 04 knocked us out at that stage. The fans were, however, delighted with our European run, as well as a semi final appearance in the Coppa Italia that season.

Ahead of my last game for the club, a home fixture in the league against Messina, my record for the club stood at 99 goals in 203 games. I wanted to go out with a bang, and I certainly did so with my centenary goal for the club. In the final few minutes, Simone Pepe picked me out in the box with a chest-high cross. I had my back to goal, so I swiveled on the spot as I controlled the ball with my chest. With my last kick of the ball for the club, I volleyed the ball into the far corner, giving us a final day victory.

The crowd erupted with the goal, chanting my name as I performed a knee slide in celebration. I punched the hair and roared with everything I had left in me. It was to be my last action in football at a high level, and I certainly made the most of it. It was the end of an era and I chose to celebrate it rather than mourn it.

Following the full-time whistle, we paraded around the pitch as we thanked the fans for their support over the course of the season. The club's hierarchy had organised a farewell gift for myself to thank me for my service to the club. I had not anticipated such event, and I stood in awe alongside the club chairman Maurizio Zamparini as he conducted the ceremony.

Maurizio Zamparini spoke to me, and all those attendance, to explain that the gift was of significance to my culture as a French public figure who loved the limelight. The gift was to embody my home culture and the culture of Palermo. An aide handed a black fabric-covered box, embroidered in gold. to Zamparini, who in turn presented it to me.

I opened the box to discover a rose coloured diamond on a gold ring. There were two lines engraved into the ring - 'La Panthère Rose' (French) on one side and 'La Pantera Rosa' (Italian) on the other. The diamond was symbolic of French culture, and the colour was symbolic of Palermo.

I removed the marvel from its box and slid it onto the ring finger of my right hand. I examined the diamond on my fist, flexing my hand to watch it shimmer in the sunlight. I then looked up at the fans still in attendance, who roared with approval as I raised my fist to the sky. From that day onwards, I became known as 'The Pink Panther'.



Replies

Scoot Scoot, Pierre lives by the mentality that there is more to life than football ;)
Griffo, one update too early :P
TheLFCFan, and now we know!
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What a career Pierre Pellegri had! A Zlatan esque like character with the heart of a lion but an arrogance like no other, but an arrogance that was respected by many, because Pierre always stepped up to the plate, and his ego driven ways were a huge part of that it seems. What a legend of a footballer! Let's see what he does next ;)
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Pierre sounds like the best guy to have a night out on the town with. Great personality, he should be an interesting manager due to what his "antics" - as the media would call them. He's almost Di Canio-esque!
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Ahhh my bad, jumped the gun sorry Justice haha
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