West Ham United legend Paolo Di Canio is heading back to East London as he joins a star-studded Italy squad to take part in the inaugural Star Sixes tournament at The O2 Arena.
The Hammers hero is returning to a place where he was adored by Irons supporters, and admired by football fans in general, for his entertaining – and often controversial – style.
Di Canio scored some spectacular goals just a corner-kick away from The O2, when West Ham played down the road at Upton Park, and he is aiming to reproduce that form as Italy try to lift the first Star Sixes trophy.
Italy’s opening fixture on 13 July is a glamorous clash with Brazil, whose side include Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo and Juninho. But Italy are led by the great Alessandro Del Piero, and with Fabrizio Ravanelli alongside Di Canio, they have also confirmed Champions League winners Angelo Di Livio, Massimo Oddo, World Cup winner Marco Amelia and Stefano Fiore and Marco Delvecchio in their line-up.
After their Brazil encounter, Italy face a Nigeria squad led by Jay-Jay Okocha, and the Super Eagles have also just added new faces to their exciting team. Former Everton defender Joseph Yobo, Inter Milan icon Taribo West and Monaco striker Victor Ikpeba will be in their squad for the four-day six-a-side tournament.
West is best remembered for his flamboyant hairstyles and rampaging style when he played for Derby County, while Yobo, who won 101 caps. was a firm favourite with both the Goodison faithful and Nigeria fans.
Star Sixes promises spectacular action at London’s O2 Arena, with other world-class stars including Robert Pires of France, Germany’s Michael Ballack, and England’s Steven Gerrard among a galaxy of stars in show.