We're Gypsies just play hard - André-Pierre Gignac

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France striker André-Pierre Gignac believes his combative playing style is a consequence of his Gypsy origins.

The 23-year-old fed off scraps, chased every lost cause and scored the majority of his 24 league goals through individual raids as Toulouse over-achieved by finishing fourth.

"A Gypsy who plays football is always like that," he said in an interview with the French magazine So Foot.

"When you see my cousin (Jacques) Abardonardo, he's not very skilful but he's a fighter, he's a dog who never gives up. He chases everything and is ready to die on the pitch.

"I'm the same. We don't think too much, we just play hard."

Although he rarely talks about his private life, Gignac is fiercely proud of his Gypsy roots.

He added: "I come from a family of Spanish Gypsies. But I've been adopted by the Manouches (the Gypsy population in France).

"I grew up with them, my wife is Manouche so my son is automatically Manouche.

"My family live in caravans and work in the markets. When I get given clothes I pass them on to my mother-in-law so she can sell them. Sometimes I go with her and stand behind the stall.

"Gypsies like big parties. They make enough food for 100, even if there are only 30 people. We eat and drink a lot, play games and go hunting.

"I had a fantastic time hunting for rabbits and deer. I'm not sure you're allowed to do that anymore. The guys are amazing, though.

"They're like snipers. One of my wife's cousins took aim from 40 metres and this bird just dropped out of the sky."

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