Italy's players might
have felt exhausted after beating Ireland on Monday but that was
nothing compared to the staff, who walked 21 kilometres to a monastery
in the middle of the night to celebrate their Euro 2012
The Camaldolese monks, whose origins are in Italy but who
run a monastery 21 km from Italy's base outside Krakow, met the
squad before the tournament and the team staff promised to make
a pilgrimage to the monastery if they got out of Group C.
No one expected coach Cesare Prandelli, his backroom team
and federation vice president and former midfielder Demetrio
Albertini to take the walk at 3am local time, shortly after
arriving back in Krakow from beating the Irish 2-0 in Poznan.
The federation said in a statement that the group, who first
"had to deal with the jokes of the players... who went off to
bed", took three-and-a-half-hours to complete the walk and returned to the
team base at 7am - by car.
Italy meet England in the last quarter-final in Kiev on
Sunday when Azzurri fans hope Prandelli will not have another
sleepness night - this time for the wrong reasons.
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