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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:20 am

Have those extrovert, boisterous, hyper Italians broken the World Cup?

Pasta da glue! I've got a pizza da World Cup!
13th July 2006

One of Italy's unflappable performers during the tournament, Italian captain looks slightly nervous as he appears to hold a piece of the World Cup

Mystery today surrounded claims in an Italian newspaper that the World Cup had been damaged during exuberant celebrations.

Italian players were seen kissing it, licking it, shouting at it and in one instance Marco Materazzi was seen putting his hat on it.

It was later sat by the team hotel swimming pool as the players continued their unrestrained celebrations.

A series of photographs in the Rome daily Il Messaggero showed a worried-looking Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro holding up a piece of the green decorative edging at the base of the prized trophy.

Standing over him is former player now Italian FA official Demetrio Albertini who is clearly pointing to the base of the Cup as if to indicate where the piece had fallen away from.

Next to Cannavaro is his Juventus team-mate Alessandro Del Piero who also has a worried look on his face.

The photographs were taken as the players sat on the coach which took them from Pratica di Mare airbase to the Prime Minister's office for the official celebrations.

Above the headline:"Worried Cannavoro: The World Cup has lost a piece?" il Messaggero suggested that the piece had fallen off during the two hour coach journey.

It added:"Maybe the Cup was dropped? Maybe it took a knock. Who knows exactly but certainly something did happen."

The newspaper added that the piece which is made of the semi precious stone malachite was eventually glued onto the trophy.

Il Messaggero added that the group was so concerned about the damage that they had initially wanted to cancel the hue party that had been lined up for them at the Circus Maximus in central Rome.

But after a series of calls between the Italian FA and Rome City Council it was decided to carry on because of safety feras for the huge one million crowd if the event was cancelled.

Cannavaro's agent Gaetano Fedele was not available for comment and no-one from the Italian FA would respond.

The World Cup was created by Italian designer Silvio Gazzaniga for the 1974 tournament.

It was made after the old Jules Rimet trophy was given to Brazil after they won the tournament three times.


Gazzaniga's World Cup is 36cm high, weighs 4970g and is made of pure, 18-carat gold and has two rings of semi-precious malachite stones adorn the base.

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