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Video Of The Day: Damiano

367.jpg(The Azzurri pseudo-preview is over here. Alright, less preview than highlights of the qualifying run and last 18 months.)

Whenever I think of Damiano, one story comes to mind:

"This is very important because the kids see us as idols and we have to give a good example. Often football players are described as egoistic and vague, but this isn’t true and we are often involved in charity events. I try to do what I can, remembering that I am very lucky. I do a job that I love and I get a lot of money for doing it. This is a joy but also a big responsibility", he once said during a conference at the University to which he was invited to talk to the young people. Tommasi spent almost the entire season in the infirmary the last year Capello coached the Rome team but Tommasi’s fate was even worse at the beginning of the next season. On July 22nd 2004, during the second pre-season match under coach Prandelli, a Stoke City player committed a bad foul on him and his knee "exploded". The season ended before it began and his possibilities of recovery were dubious for many months. At the end of the season, Tommasi’s contract with Rome expires and the team wants to be sure that he has completely recovered before signing him up. The player also has some doubts on his career because he is not too sure that at age 31 he can be a part of the future program set up by coach Spalletti and the Rome Club. The two parties meet a couple of times, but the gossip around is that there will be a divorce. But then there is a surprise ending; Damiano Tommasi demonstrates on the pitch and through medical tests that he is physically fit; Rome offers him a new contract but he doesn’t want to become a part of the team at such high prices following months of inactivity, so he asks for the minimum union wage which is €1,500.00 a month.

The world could use more people like him.