Valentino Rossi. The Doctor, The Goat, Rossi, Vale; call him what you want but as far as his parents are concerned, he’s only got one name. Valentino. But what’s in a name? Well you may be surprised what you can learn about him, by simply picking apart the letters in his name. Here are nine things you didn’t know about Valentino Rossi…
V is for Valentine’s day
If Valentino Rossi was born two days earlier, he’d have been born on St Valentine’s day. You might think that his parents named him Valentino because of this, but you’d be wrong. Because the Italians call Valentine’s day La Festa Degli Innamorati, so if they wanted to name him after Valentine’s day, they’d have to call him that. And that would be a rubbish name for a MotoGP rider. Or anyone for that matter. No, contrary to popular misconception, ‘Vale’ was not named after Valentine’s day.
A is for Aardvarks and Anteaters
No matter how hard he tries, Vale can’t help getting muddled up between aardvarks and anteaters. He knows they are different, but can’t remember for the life if him which one belongs to the order Pilosa and which to the order Tubulidentata. If he’s ever in a conversation that sounds as though it’s heading towards either of the small, insect eating mammals, he’ll quickly make himself scares, for fear of being left with egg on his chin.
L is for Lager-Shandy
Despite being a world-class athlete, rumour has it that Valentino absolutely loves a lager shandy. He’s said to have developed a taste for it when he lived in London, some years ago, and now he can sup it ‘till the cows come home. You’ll rarely see him with a shandy (or even a lager-top) in public, because it’s very uncool over in Tavullia, but once The Doctor’s behind closed doors, he’ll be asking the bar man for one thing, and one thing only; a refreshing pint of shandy.
E is for Extra-Terrestrial
Ever since he was a kid, Valentino has been fascinated by outer space, and the thought that there might be intelligent life somewhere out there. He’ll talk for hours, to anyone that’ll listen, about his alien conspiracy theories. Whilst he’s convinced that ET life forms have made contact, he hasn’t actually seen any of them himself. Indeed most of his speculation is based on comic books he read as a kid and Facebook posts he’s seen as an adult.
N is for “Not today, thank you”
One of Vale’s pet hates is cold callers. As a younger man, when they’d ring him up about double glazing, or that accident he had, he’d simply say “not today, thank you”. He’d say it in Italian though, not English. Anyway, as he’s grown older, he’s grown more and more wearisome of time-wasting cold callers. It was only a matter of time before it came to a head. And one day it did. One day, when his phone rang and he was asked to take part in a government survey, he lost the plot. He went absolutely ballistic, effing and jeffing down the phone (again, all in Italian). Proof that even some of the most professional sportspeople can have potty-mouths at times. Cold callers beware, Valentino Rossi is off limits.
T is for Taxes
Other than a slight disagreement with the taxman in the mid noughties, when Rossi had to pay 35 million Euro in unpaid taxes, and was handed a suspended jail sentence for non-declaration of 112 million euro’s worth of income, it would seem he’s actually pretty good at paying his taxes. An intensive five-minute Google search hasn’t brought up any tax avoidance scandals since his minor misdemeanour in 2007, so he must have learnt his lesson. If only more of the rich and famous would take a leaf out of Valentino’s book, and pay they’re due; the world would be a better place.
I is for Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is very common, therefore it’s highly likely Vale has suffered with it at some point. If he is an IBS sufferer, he’s likely to experience stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Whilst there’s no cure for IBS, changes to diet and certain medicines can help control the symptoms.
N is for Not a real doctor
Don’t let him pull the wool over your eyes, Valentino Rossi isn’t a real doctor. He might have ‘The Doctor’ emblazoned all over his leathers but don’t ask him to write you out a prescription. In actual fact ‘The Doctor’ has had very little medical training whatsoever. You couldn’t make this stuff up!
O is for Origami
Believe it or not, Valentino Rossi, former MotoGP Champ, is absolutely petrified of Origami. He can’t be in the same room as a paper swan, and if he so much as sees someone folding a paper aeroplane, he comes out in cold sweats. It all started when a young Valentino gave himself a particularly nasty paper cut at school. The nick in his finger bled so profusely that he passed out in front of everyone in the class. Since then, he’s had a really turbulent relationship with paper, especially when folded. He’s phobia of the Japanese artform has been particularly troublesome when working for Japanese employers Honda and Yamaha. Both factory teams were made to put a clause in his contract, banning any origami from Valentino’s side of the pit box.
Disclaimer – Some, none or all of the information in this article may, or may not, be true or false.