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Dirty Tackle

Roy Hodgson asked to be paid in opera tickets at Inter Milan

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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Hodgson at the San Siro, wishing he was watching Don Giovanni instead (Getty)

Hodgson at the San Siro, wishing he was watching Don Giovanni instead (Getty)

On Friday, Internazionale president Massimo Moratti will formally hand over a 70% controlling stake of the club to Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir. Going forward, the new owner will have to pay his managers in actual money, which hasn't always been the case for Moratti.

Following a two-year stint as manager at Inter — where he dragged the Milanese side from the nether regions of Serie A to a UEFA Cup Final — Roy Hodgson returned to the San Siro as a caretaker manager for six games in 1999. According to an interview Moratti gave to The Sun, the current England gaffer took the role as a favor and insisted that he be paid only in tickets to the opera:

“He didn’t want to be paid. It was for one month or something. And he told me ‘no, no, no I don’t want to be paid by you. I do it because we are friends and you need me.’

“He was fantastic. Then I asked him ‘please, I don’t want you to do it without anything from my side’.

“I insisted and he told me: ‘If you oblige me, I have to say that I will have tickets for La Scala’.

“We also went together of course. It was an opera of Verdi but I don’t remember which one it’s such a long time ago.”

Moratti also revealed that Hodgson used to give his children philosophy books, inspiring three of his five kids to study philosophy at university. Who knew the current England manager was so gosh-darn cultured?

Presumably, Chelsea are wishing they agreed a similar opera tickets-style remuneration package for Roberto Di Matteo, rather than continuing to pay him £130,000 a week a year after he was fired.

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Ryan Bailey is a writer for Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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