Born-again Christian fit and ready for new season

Christian Nade - Raith Rovers FC. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
Christian Nade - Raith Rovers FC. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
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Christian Nade wore a XXL Raith Rovers strip at his photoshoot on Saturday, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that he is out of shape.

The 29-year-old French striker might be a big lad, but he has never been in better shape, which he proved recently by posting a lean and muscular topless selfie on his Facebook page (see below).

The caption, ‘I’m just a fat Eddie Murphy’, related to the terracing jibes he used to receive while playing in the Premier League for Hearts, but after working hard on his fitness and physique, he can now laugh them off.

“To be honest I didn’t want to show the picture on Facebook,” Nade told the Press.

“My friend told me to put it up, but I wasn’t sure because it would make people talk.

“People think I became like this after the season finished, but I was like this before.”

At which point Nade breaks off the interview to show some pictures on his phone.

“People thought I was fat at Hearts, but look, I wasn’t fat,” he said, while showing another topless selfie, not quite as impressive as his most recent one, but impressive nonetheless.

“Because I’m large people just think I’m fat,” he adds. “The picture was just to show them I’m not fat.

“When people call me fat Eddie Murphy it can make you angry, but if I’m playing well I can sing with them and laugh.

“Since the season finished I haven’t stopped. I’ve just kept working on my fitness.”

There will be some people who believe Raith have taken a gamble by signing Nade, but ask anyone who watched Dundee last season and they’ll tell you he was a key player during the title run-in.

“Winning the title with Dundee was one of the best days of my life, if not the best,” he said.

“I had really good support from the fans, and some of them were disappointed I left, well, I can say I was the first one.

“I’ve been working really hard and I managed to achieve something in a short time at Dundee, so getting released hurt my pride.

“But it’s a new page now, and I’m really happy to be here. Playing in the Premiership would have been good, but I’m sure the Championship will be the best league to play in next season.”

Nade returned to Scotland last season after a spell in Thailand, initially joining up with East Fife, but a lingering knee injury meant he never kicked a ball in Methil.

The move to Dundee in January saw Nade’s career take off again as he made six starts, seven substitute appearances, and scored three goals to help the Dark Blues win the title.

“I wasn’t wanting to prove anybody wrong - I just wanted to prove to myself that I could still play,” he said.

“It wasn’t easy for me to come back from Thailand to Scotland, but I’ve managed to do it.

“I’m sure some will say I’m a good player and others will say I’m bad.

“You can’t really judge yourself with what other people say, it’s about how you feel yourself.

“If you’re proud of what you’ve done that’s all that matters.”

There was interest from clubs following Nade’s release from Dens Park - there was even an offer to return to Thailiand - but Raith won the race for his signature.

“I like what the coach wants and the ambition of the team,” he said.

“The fact that he wanted to meet me, rather than just speak to my agent, was also important to me. I really appreciated that.

“I know some players here like Calum Elliot and Jason Thomson and I know they are really good players.

“I watched the cup final against Rangers and they looked really strong and well organised and that also pushed me to sign.

“It looks like a really friendly and professional club and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Nade has set himself personal targets for the new season, but they will remain private.

“I can’t say what my personal ambitions are,” he said.

“I know what I want to do, and that I’m going to do everything to make it happen.”