Tomasz Radzinski has never been one to bite his tongue, smile for the cameras and speak in mindless, politically correct soundbites.
Not when the honest answer is right there, tempting him like a slow rolling ball at the side of a wide-open goal, just waiting to be pounded home.
So when reporters approached the star striker and asked him about Everton teammate Wayne Rooney, Radzinski wound up and buried that slow roller into the heart of the mesh: The 18-year-old sensation is too big for Everton, he said, and the best thing he can do is get out as fast as he can.
You can imagine the chuckle Everton management got out of that one. It was like somebody on the 1982 Oilers telling Wayne Gretzky to bolt Edmonton.
"That advice cost me two weeks wages, unfortunately," grinned Radzinski, as he and the rest of Team Canada wrapped up their second-last workout before Saturday's World Cup qualifying match with Honduras.
But somebody somewhere along the line took it to heart because Rooney has just been dealt to Manchester United for a whopping $70-million transfer fee. Radzinski hates to say he told you so, but ...
"I think it's good for Wayne that he's leaving because the media attention was becoming too big for him in Everton. At Man United he's just going to be one of the many, many stars. They're going to leave him a little bit alone so he can have a normal 18-year-old private life now."
Radzinski, one of the best pure talents Canada has boasted in quite some time, also had a change of address. He turned down a three-year contract offer from Everton (the team that paid 4.5 million pounds for him in 2001, the highest transfer fee ever for a Canadian player) and was subsequently transferred to Fulham. He says the move is the best thing that ever happened to him, but is still appealing the Everton fine.
"Opinions are being asked about Wayne Rooney every day, so you give your opinion," he shrugged. "I thought it was not fair towards me after the service I provided to Everton for three years."
Now he's in Edmonton, for the first time since becoming a big-time Premier League striker, set and determined to help Canada pick itself off the ground, dust off that 99th-place ranking and play its way into the biggest show on earth.
"Everybody wants to play in the World Cup," said the 30-year-old Torontonian, who wasn't on the Canadian side during their ill-fated bid for a 2002 World Cup berth. "This time around it's something I've set my mind on. I spoke to every single guy on the team and they're going to do everything they can to get there. If you have that mentality I think you can achieve a lot."
Then we asked about the difficulty of bringing Canadian players home from Europe for these matches and, well, Radzinski pounced on that slow roller like a cat.
"Players are willing to be here, but the travelling arrangements are crap," he said. "We have examples of guys flying 24 hours in economy class, playing a game and flying back to their club teams.
"Coming over from Europe in economy class is very, very difficult. I don't know what kind of contract the Canadian team has with Air Canada, but to me it just seems like a lot of bull."
He says European teams have become reluctant to let Canadian players fly home because they're wiped out from the travel when they get back.
"I spoke to management and they don't have a problem with me going, as long as I come back fresh. Being on those stupid flights doesn't help."
So why come home? They could stay in England with their huge contracts, sold-out crowds and mass adulation, and blow off the Canadian call altogether. Why fly 20 hours from Europe to Vancouver to play for 6,725 fans, most of whom are cheering for Guatemala?
"The World Cup is the biggest event in the world for any sport and Canadians have only been to the big scene once, in Mexico '86. It's about time.
"And the young lads in this country who are going to the fields every single day and playing by the millions ... if we do get to the World Cup it's going to give a big boost."
And maybe he won't have to tell kids who idolize him that if they want to be players, get out of Canada.
"They pose the question, 'What can I do? The only answer I can give is: Any chance you get, get a try in Europe. Hopefully, if we do get to the World Cup, a small Canadian League can be formed and all the young kids who play this beautiful game can have a future."
Can this Canadian team deliver those goods?
"Definitely, quality-wise, we're better," he said. "I think there's a great deal of talent here and if I didn't believe we could get in I wouldn't be here, believe me."