Nation, we love the nickname "Skinny Ninja" for Daniele Prade. We genuinely do. It has such a fun ring to it, and I personally love the delicious redundancy of defining a ninja skinny. Because, well, what ninja wouldn't be skinny?! Oh right.
Regardless, after last night's quite nice friendly victory over flashy nobodies Barcelona, we at the blog are just a little frustrated. Because we saw so many Skinny Ninjas on the field playing for Fiorentina last night that we now want to extend the monicker to several other players.
I suppose we could call Borja Valero "Bald Ninja" or "Bearded Ninja" - although Rocio is totally making him shave that thing off - but that doesn't quite capture the beauty of watching someone with the physique of a skeleton use a ball to make Sergio Busquets look like a lacrosse captain in calculus class.
And then last night we got to watch the full fitness return to the Artemio Franchi of a budding ninja star - heh - as Federico Bernardeschi found pockets of space in the Barca defense so easily that he may as well have been cloaked in black and serving as a covert agent in feudal Japan (thanks Wikipedia).
The blows from the Bernie's katana were so lethal that they belied his figure, a figure so trim that his Tuscan grandmother must be furious that he isn't feeding himself properly after practices.
But the ranks of the Fiorentina shinobi do not cease there, as Gonzalo Rodriguez made his case with an amazing flying scissor kick block, and Ciprian Tatarusanu also showed off some quick reflexes and courage many times during a wildly entertaining match against Luis Suarez and company.
But wait no, Tatarusanu is many things (definitely skinny) but he isn't a ninja. Somehow. Not sure why. A superhero version of a stickbug, maybe.
Thank goodness that the original Viola ninja, the one we all think of when we think when we think of amazing goals against Barcelona, well he wasn't particularly skinny. Batistuta wasn't a Skinny Ninja. Just the Bat Ninja. Special abilities? He was really good at making others be quiet.
Anyways I propose we extend temporary Skinny Ninja status to all the sort-of sickly protagonists of last night's meaningless but fun match. At least until the original Skinny Ninja stops his warm up exercises and steps out of the shadows with a couple of amazing signings. Oh and no ninja status for you Tatarusanu. We know what you are now.
Davide Astori is essentially a Fiorentina player, after undergoing medicals today with Brazilian newbie Gilberto. Here's our report on the soon-to-be-finalized transfer.
The other Suarez on the field last night had his formal introductory press conference, and talked about pressing, among other things.
We loved on exiting regista David Pizarro, who is going back home to Chile to close out a remarkable career.
Mario Gomez has joined Besiktas on loan this week, proverbial whimper over proverbial bang. Here's our homage to the big German's stint in purple.
Even with the much-appreciated Seba Frey party in the comments, the best nostalgia this week has come from Adrian Mutu popping up with some choice statements.
Catalogue was kind enough to coach us through posting images in the comments, which is useful when the @gif oracle is in a mood (most of the time). Elegant instruction from our photoshop master.
Oh, and there's still time to sign up for the Viola Nation fantasy Premier League ... league, if you are so inclined. Click here and then use the league code 414980-106622.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
In keeping with the celebration of Skinny Ninjas everywhere, here's this succinct gem, from the previously mentioned report on Astori's transfer:
Honorable mention, just because it keeps making me laugh even now. I hope this expression becomes blog cannon:
Keep up the dialogue, the investigations, the silly jokes, and the purple-hued love everyone. But also get to the beach or something, eh? August will be over before we know it, and who knows how many pairs of Tods will be thrown by the end of it. Best not to dwell on it. Forza viola guys.