Peter Crouch has revealed how his former Portsmouth teammate Robert Prosinecki would smoke non-stop and barely turn up for training – but then bamboozle defenders with his silky skills.
Crouch, who made 88 appearances and scored 35 times during two spells with Pompey, played alongside the ex-Croatia international during his first stint with the club.
Prosinecki, the former Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder, was lured to Fratton Park by former owner Milan Mandaric and seemingly made an instant impact in his one and only season on the south coast in 2001/02.
And Crouch, who was taking part in a Q&A in his weekly Daily Mail column, was left in awe by the midfield maestro’s talents – despite his laidback approach.
Responding to a question about which ex-teammate “would have most trouble avoiding the biscuit tin in isolation”, the former England ace responded: “I won’t be too harsh.
“I had someone in mind, but I’ll use this question as a chance to talk about Robert Prosinecki who was not – shall we say – the most committed to physical activity.
“Robert fitted the word ‘maverick’ perfectly and the only time he wasn’t smoking a Marlboro Red was when he was on the pitch.
“We would barely see him at training during the week but, my God, when he played for Portsmouth he was unbelievable.”
He added: “He had this trick where he would shape to shoot, feint and then roll his foot over the ball to leave the defender absolutely bamboozled.
“You knew it was coming, you could see a mile off what he was going to do, but it was just impossible to stop.
“He must have been some sight in his pomp, when he played for Red Star Belgrade and Real Madrid. He was a one-man band for Portsmouth, a joy to behold.”