A football fan once ended up sleeping rough on the streets of Milan for 10 years after getting lost at the end of a match at the iconic San Siro stadium.
Swiss pensioner Rolf Bantle travelled to Italy to watch FC Basel take on Inter Milan in a Champions League qualifier in 2004.
During the match, which ended in a 4-1 win for the Italian side, Bantle went to the toilet but became disorientated and couldn't find his friends after the game had ended.
He decided to remain in Milan as he "had no commitments" and eventually ended up staying for a decade, sleeping rough on the streets of the city.
Speaking to Swiss outlet Schweiz am Sonntag in 2015, Bantle said he "enjoyed the freedom" of his unusual lifestyle in Italy.
"I was suddenly in a different sector. I had about €20 in my pocket and no phone so I wandered into Milan," said Bantle.
"People gave me food and cigarettes, and one student offered me a sleeping bag."
FC Basel fan Rolf Bantle went to the toilet at San Siro vs Inter Milan in 2004, got lost, and returned home 11 years later. Rolf got separated from the away fans, missed his bus home, and slept rough on the streets of Milan for a decade. pic.twitter.com/rMTw1Se8fX— Football Talk (@Football_TaIk) July 2, 2022
Bantle was reported missing after the match but had no close relatives and had been living in a rehabilitation centre due to heavy drinking prior to his trip to Italy.
After deciding to remain in Milan, Bantle took showers once a week in a public washroom and frequently visited the local library, he told the Swiss newspaper.
"There was for me no longer any reason to go home. I enjoyed the freedom of Milan," he added.
Bantle finally returned to Switzerland after falling and breaking his femur.
Italian hospital workers realised he had no health insurance and contacted the Swiss consulate, who arranged to bring him home.
At the time of the publication of the story in 2015, Bantle was living in a retirement home in Switzerland and seemingly content to be off the streets.
"I like it here," he added. "Ten years is enough and here I feel very good now."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Twitter
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