Soccer

Della Valle a national hero

2013-09-11 18:00
Alessandro Della Valle (AFP)

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.

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