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Daniele De Rossi Left His World Cup Winner's Medal In Former Kit Man's Coffin

Daniele De Rossi Left His World Cup Winner's Medal In Former Kit Man's Coffin

Daniele de Rossi retired this week after a career as the hard man of midfield for Roma, Italy and finally Boca Juniors but the best story of his career came from being more caring than most would expect.

The 36-year-old was one of the best midfielders of his generation but didn't win much in his club career, staying loyal to boyhood club Roma until they no longer wanted him last year and he moved to Argentina.

He did win the World Cup with Italy in 2006, though he no longer has his winners medal, a story in La Gazzetta dello Sport in February 2016 explained that he'd driven to Florence for the funeral of former Italy kitman Pietro Lombardi.

"On Wednesday morning, De Rossi finished his training rather hurriedly and went off as if he had another important engagement. He went to Florence to attend the funeral of Pietro Lombardi, the former Italy kitman, who had passed away aged 92.

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"He left training in the morning and put his World Cup winner's medal in his pocket before driving to Florence. There, he greeted his friend for the final time and put his most valuable possession into the coffin."

On the incident Roma's official website reported saying, "Spazzolino had endeared himself to many of the players in that squad. Francesco Totti posted on his blog after hearing of his death. De Rossi reacted silently, preferring to keep his thoughts to himself, and his relationship with the man private.

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"He left training in the morning and put his World Cup winner's medal in his pocket before driving to Florence. There, he greeted his friend for the final time and put his most valuable possession into the coffin.

"There was a poignant symbolism to the gesture. That the victory of Italy will go forward to eternity. Yet it might have just been De Rossi keeping a promise to a friend. Maybe he realises that memories are kept in the heart and the head, not in the objects we accrue."

De Rossi waves goodbye to the Roma fans. Image: PA Images
De Rossi waves goodbye to the Roma fans. Image: PA Images

In another moment of class in November 2017 De Rossi put aside his own feelings of failure to congratulate the Sweden players and apologised for Italy fans booing their national anthem.

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It came after the World Cup qualifier that stopped the Azzurri going to the tournament in Russia and the midfielder went to find them on their team coach before they left the stadium.

Known for being a hard man on the pitch it's clear that Rossi has tons of class off it.

Topics: World Football, Serie A, Italian Football, Roma, World Cup, Italy, Daniele De Rossi

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Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.