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However, the charge was cleared by FIGC in June 2001, because his passport really had been issued by Italian officials, and he avoided a ban.

However, a new controversy was exposed that Verón and his agent may have used fake documents submitted to the Italian government in order to allege to the government that Verón had Italian descent and granted him an Italian passport, which claimed an Italian, Giuseppe Antonio Porcella was Verón's great grandfather Ireneo Portela.

'A measure of tragedy is stitched into everything, if you follow the thread long enough.” So says Lilly Bere, the 89-year-old narrator of Sebastian Barry’s fifth novel, and she has reason enough to think so.

Biblical cadences swell her language, for example when she remembers the heathery hillside of her Irish girlhood, before darkness touched her life: “I am writing it, I am writing it, and I spill it all out on my lap like very money, like riches, beyond the dreams of avarice.” Barry’s famed lyricism generates such emotional engagement that to come away dry-eyed from one of his novels would surely be proof of a stony heart.

(For the record, this reader cried four times while engrossed in On Canaan’s Side.) With his extraordinary talent for condensing the tangential sorrows and solaces of a life, Barry continues to unpick the threads of Irish history through what Lilly calls “our own little stories, without importance”. On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry 272pp, Faber & Faber, £16.99 Buy it now for £13.99 (plus £1.25 p&p) from Telegraph Books The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.

The figure of Willie Dunne haunts the book, as the other boys of Lilly’s life join the unending march of boys to war after war. Through her similes, her submerged former life in Ireland resurfaces, as through the images in dreams: her mind is “like an unbroken pony, plunging about”; she writes, “my heart lifted like a pheasant from scrub… Her “confession”, as she calls it, is a catalogue of small moments that catch one unawares: “A man dressing in the morning, in his youth.

My husband.” Barry can hardly stop himself from giving Lilly flights of words that amplify that exultation in memories of people long since swept away into the past.

He represented his nation at three FIFA World Cups, and at the 2007 Copa América, where he won a runners-up medal.

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