Cisse skirts the issue ahead of derby

French soccer star Djibril Cisse has caused a stir in Greece by wearing a skirt to an awards ceremony just a few days before his team, Panathinaikos, takes on Super League leader Olympiakos in a crucial derby game.

The striker attended the Status magazine Men of the Year Awards on Tuesday night, where he picked up a prize, in the unusual garb.

His appearance in the dress sparked an immediate reaction in the media, particularly Greece?s various sports newspapers.

The Panathinaikos-supporting papers suggested that Cisse was putting his manhood on display ahead of the derby match on Saturday, while the publications that back Olympiakos proposed that the Frenchman wear the same skirt when he runs out at the Karaiskaki Stadium.

Kathimerini English Edition fashion editor Elis Kiss has identified the skirt as a Jean Paul Gaultier number. The French designer, who is a regular visitor to Greece, has created a number of skirts for men, including a line inspired by the Greek ?foustanella? as worn by the Presidential Guard.

Cisse has certainly spiced up the atmosphere between the fierce rivals, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos, ahead of the game on Saturday, which kicks off at 7.30 p.m.

It is seen as many as a potential decider because Olympiakos is seven points ahead of Panathinaikos. A win for the Reds would give them a 10-point advantage with just seven games left ? a seemingly unassailable lead. A win for the Greens would reduce the gap to four points and give them a glimmer of hope that they might retain the title they won last season.

Cisse is known for his flamboyance, often changing hairstyles and colors and wearing extravagant clothes. He also has a passion for cars and owns a number of expensive vehicles.

The 29-year-old Frenchman has been a major success at Panathinaikos since joining the club in June 2009 for 8 million euros.

He led Panathinaikos to a league and cup double in his first season, scoring 23 goals in 28 games. He is the Super League?s top scorer this season with 18 goals so far.

Last summer, Cisse got a tattoo of Panathinaikos?s symbol, the shamrock, to add to his collection of body art ? something else that he is well known for.