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Anybody remember the Zarate strop?

By Andy Walker on Apr 21, 10 03:41 PM in Birmingham City

Building up to this weekend's Villa-Blues battle and seeing Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli's childish tantrum during the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona on Tuesday night, it got me thinking of a Second City derby memory.

Does anybody remember Blues striker Mauro Zarate's reaction to be substituted for Mikael Forssell in the 58th minute of the 5-1 thumping at Villa Park in April 2008? There was the Temuri Ketsbaia-style kick of the advertising hoardings, the cursing and the refusal to shake hands.

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The Argentinian is now playing in Serie A with Lazio and still carries that chip on his shoulder. Having been something of a sensation in his first season in Italy with 16 goals and a Coppa Italia winners medal, Zarate has struggled to get anywhere near that form this campaign.

Add to that the fact that he's been involved in a slanging match with Roma's Francesco Totti, a bust-up with his agent and had his attitude questioned by Lazio boss Edy Reja, all is not well for Zarate.

To make matters worse, he recently decided to celebrate his 23rd birthday by sitting in the stands with Lazio's hardcore fans while serving a two-game ban for being sent-off against Sampdoria.

It appears that the Second City derby sulk was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Zarate's fiery personality.

But judging by the feedback on our liveblogs, webchats and forums, many Bluenoses would still gladly welcome Zarate back to St Andrew's with open arms.

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