Bixente Lizarazu, the former France international, has confirmed he will deliver on his outlandish promise to run through the streets of Evian naked after his local club won promotion to Ligue 1.
Last July the former Bayern Munich left-back said – to the astonishment of his inquisitors – that should Evian Thonon Gaillard, the club from the Alpine region of Haute-Savoie in France, earn promotion, the 41-year-old would deliver a cantering striptease through the city.
"I'll do it, I'll do it," Lizarazu said. "I'll keep my word, I'll do it." So the same eyes of supporters who watched their club, who had only risen up to the second tier for the first time last summer, seal promotion will also bear witness to Lizarazu's streak.
Lizarazu, who has shares in Evian Thonon Gaillard, officially announced his retirement from football in 2006 following a hugely successful career at club and international level.
He won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2001 and helped France win the World Cup in 1998 along with the European Championship two years later.
Meanwhile, Dutch club ADO Den Haag yesterday qualified for the Europa League for the first time since 1987 after their 10 men beat Groningen 4-3 on penalties in an extraordinary second-leg of the Dutch play-off final.
Den Haag had prevailed 5-1 in the first leg but Groningen astonishingly struck four second-half goals in the second game yesterday to counter Den Haag's solitary effort to make it 6-6 on aggregate, sending the match into extra time and then penalties.
Tim Matavz, the 22-year-old Groningen striker, hit the bar on the 10th penalty to earn Den Haag qualification. Matavz had put Groningen ahead on the 24th minute before Lex Immers equalised for Den Haag. Groningen's goals then arrived in a flurry when Virgil van Dijk scored twice in the second period along with his team-mate, Leandro Bacuna.
Matvz scored his second from the penalty spot to made it five late on as Den Hagg's left-back Mitchell Pique was sent off for a handball in the area.