Paris - Unsung international footballer by night, simple office worker by day, Alessandro Della Valle was a hero for the day on Wednesday after he scored the first goal in five long years for tiny San Marino, a punch bag of European football.
This match, a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night against Poland, ended as they almost always do for the speck of a republic — with a loss.
Only, for once, the score wasn't something massive to nil.
With his first-half header off a free kick, Della Valle made the final score a somewhat less embarrassing 5-1, earning the amateur player the admiration of co-workers when he rolled back into the office on Wednesday.
"They welcomed me like a national hero.
"It was strange," he said in a phone interview.