The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The first Prinz among women

Perugia: Perugia president Luciano Gaucci has finally decided which woman he wants to become the first female player in Serie A: Birgit Prinz, a member of Germany’s World Cup winning squad.

“We met last week in Rome, and she took a few days to think about it,” Gaucci said on Tuesday. “Next week, we’ll define the details of the agreement.”

Previously, Gaucci was interested in signing a Swedish woman. But strikers Hanna Ljungberg and Victoria Svensson rejected his offers.

“This time, however, it should work, since I found her enthusiastic,” Gaucci said. “I hope to have her practising with the team before Christmas, and then in January she would be available to play.”

Gaucci is known for signing players purely for publicity purposes. Before this season, he signed Saadi Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi, who had never before played in a league outside Libya, is currently suspended for a doping offence.

Gaucci made few comments about his choice, saying only that Prinz “is very beautiful, and has a great figure.” He added: “I can assure you that as a player she’s very good.”

The 25-year-old Prinz helped Germany to a 2-1 extra-time victory against Sweden in the World Cup final on October 12. She scored a tournament-best seven goals.

Prinz finished second to Mia Hamm in last year’s voting for Fifa world Player of the Year and is one of three finalists for this year’s prize, to be announced on Monday.

Football aficionados are hoping Prinz would not come up with the same performance as Gaddafi Junior, who tested positive for norandrosterone — a metabolite of the steroid nandrolone — without having played for Perugia in a competitive game.

Saadi Gaddafi was voted the second worst player of 2003 by Italian radio listeners. He might, however, take pride in the fact that he lost out to such a footballing legend as Rivaldo.

Brazilian World Cup winner Rivaldo topped the poll for the ‘Golden Dustbin’ awarded by RAI radio’s Catersport programme.

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