92-year-old Pietro Lombardi died earlier this week in Florence
Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi is one of the last true one-club players left in World football.
The 32-year-old helped Italy win the World Cup ten years ago and has won two Italian Cups with his beloved Roma. Despite not having many winner's medals in an otherwise memorable career, De Rossi parted with his World Cup winner's medal this weekend.
De Rossi placed his medal in the coffin of Pietro Lombardi in Florence. The 92-year-old was Italy's kitman during their 2006 triumph and was loved by the players.
Italy's Daniele De Rossi and Fabio Grosso react after defeating France in the 2006 World Cup Final in Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
According to Gazzetta World, Lombardi was nicknamed 'Spazzolino' or 'toothbrush' by the players for his meticulousness in cleaning the player's boots. It's clear that it was something that De Rossi clearly cherished.
"He left training in the morning and put his World Cup winner’s medal in his pocket before driving to Florence. There, he greeted his friend for the final time and put his most valuable possession into the coffin."
"There was a poignant symbolism to the gesture. That the victory of Italy will go forward to eternity. Yet it might have just been De Rossi keeping a promise to a friend. Maybe he realises that memories are kept in the heart and the head, not in the objects we accrue."
Who needs medals when you can have memories that last a lifetime? De Rossi clearly leads by his actions and not his words.