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17th Mar 2016

Daniele de Rossi elevates himself to hero status with classy World Cup medal gesture


Ben Kiely

Daniele de Rossi no longer has his 2006 World Cup winners medal.

The AS Roma star was part of the Italy team that tasted glory at the tournament that will be best-remembered for Zinedine Zidane stitching Marco Materazzi a loaf in the final.

However, in an incredibly classy move, de Rossi left his most prized possession in the coffin of Italy’s former kitman, Pietro Lombardi.

Italy Training & Press Conference - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

De Rossi attended the funeral of 92-year-old Lombardi in Florence on Wednesday, where he left the medal to rest with his friend, according to Gazzetta World.

Lombardi was Italy’s kitman during the World Cup and was a valued member of the squad. He acquired the nickname “Spazzolino” (the Italian for toothbrush) because of his committment to cleaning the players’ boots.

De Rossi’s gesture could be seen as symbolic of  the role Lombardi played in Italy’s triumph.

Now, the kitman has the silverware to prove that he was a part of that success.