William Gallas furious over Mr Bean nickname

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Arsenal skipper mad old nickname has been made public

William Gallas is fuming after a former team-mate revealed he was nicknamed Pierre Richard – the French equivalent of Mr Bean – while a trainee at Caen. PSG midfielder Jerome Rothen has gone public with the nickname and a host of other digs at the Arsenal captain in his new book. He claims that Gallas was a nice guy who constantly found himself getting caught out. He wrote:

“I don’t think William Gallas will mind me talking about how he used to be a no-hoper. At school he was a right wally – he would sit at the back of the class as far away from the blackboard as possible.

“One day the maths teacher gave us a test – she knew that William understood nothing about maths, so she allowed him to use the textbook. But even with the book under his nose he still only got four out of 20!”

Rothen also claimed that Gallas once stole £150 from another trainee and only owned up after being tricked into thinking he had been caught out. He wrote:

“One evening, Eric Sitruk burst into my room and shouted, ‘Someone has stolen my bank card and taken out 1,500 francs (£150)’.

“Furious, he accused five of us. It made sense because we were all very close, we had the keys to each other’s rooms and knew the codes to our bank cards so we could lend each other money. Next evening, Eric said he had gone to the bank and a surveillance camera had filmed the person using the card.

“He said, ‘I know who is guilty’. It was a bluff. But an hour later, William knocked on his door and admitted his mistake.”

It turns out Rothen was wrong about Gallas not minding. The Gunners defender said:

“Yes, I was given that name, but that was when we were 16 or 17. Now I’m a family man and a father, and I’m unhappy that these stories are being told.”

He vowed to respond to Rothen on television in his own time.

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