Faustino Asprilla has opened up about his rollercoaster time at Newcastle United in a new documentary.
Sporting Mavericks: Asprilla documents his colourful career.
Asprilla, best-remembered for a remarkable hat-trick against Barcelona, was signed by then-manager Kevin Keegan in 1996 as the club pushed for the Premiership title.
The forward arrived on a snowy Tyneside wearing a full-length fur coat.
“When they told me I was going to be in a city by the sea, the first thing I thought was ‘great – I’m going to be on the beach. I’m going to be sailing yachts’,” said Asprilla, who now lives on a ranch in his native Columbia.
“But it turned out the sea there is really dangerous.”
When they told me I was going to be in a city by the sea, the first thing I thought was ‘great – I’m going to be on the beach. I’m going to be sailing yachts’.Faustino Asprilla
Asprilla’s former team-mates John Beresford and Keith Gillespie recall their favourite stories in the documentary, which is available to view via Sky On Demand.
Gillespie said: “One time he did arrive with snorkel, flippers and a jockstrap on. ”
“Obviously, nobody understood. That was the unpredictability of the man.”
Asprilla had a memorable debut for the club against Middlesbrough. He came off the bench to inspire a comeback at the Riverside Stadium.
However, he hadn’t expected to be involved.
“During lunch I was asked what I wanted to drink,” said Asprilla.
“In Italy, it was normal that you had a glass of red wine before lunch or with your lunch. So I asked for a glass of wine and the club owner was sitting there staring at me.
“And Kevin Keegan asked me: ‘Are you going to drink wine? What if you have to play later?’.
“But I didn’t think I was going to play because Keegan had told me that.”
* Sporting Mavericks is a Pitch International production for Sky Sports.
Sporting Mavericks: Asprilla is available to view via Sky On Demand.
It is also being shown on Wednesday, March 24 at 2am on Sky Sports 3.