I'd quit for cricket, says Vieri

Internazionale striker Christian Vieri has said he would love to give up football to play cricket.

In an interview with official UEFA Champions League publication, 'Champions' magazine, Vieri told how he showed promise at the sport during his schooldays in Australia.

"I would have loved to have been a cricketer," the Italian international said in what must have been music to the ears of most Serie A defenders.

Having left Tuscany with his family to move to Australia as a child, Vieri became a left-handed batsman and had a bat signed by former Australia captain Allan Border before football took control.

"I was telling a friend last week, I would stop playing now to play cricket if I could get the same contract," the 30-year-old declared. "I was a bit of an all-rounder at school."

Cricketing opportunities have been few and far between for Vieri since his return to Italy, although he said that his international team-mate Gennaro Gattuso also enjoys the sport, having tasted it during his time at Rangers.

Nevertheless, Vieri has been doing his best to spread the gospel of cricket whenever he can, even going so far as to converting his friends during a recent holiday in the Maldives.

"The waiters, the cooks, they were all Indian and they played every afternoon," he said. "I played with them. We spent the week playing cricket."

Around Sky