Alessandro Del Piero having a chuckle. (Getty)
Over the last 19 years of his career, Alessandro Del Piero has become a revered footballing legend while sticking with Juventus through good times and bad. He's won a World Cup and committed his time and financial support to cancer research. He also dresses up like Santa Claus and walks the streets of Turin at Christmastime. And now, he's even being credited with waking a young girl from a coma.
According to our friends at Eurosport, 12-year-old Giada Scalise suffered a brain hemorrhage while watching a Juventus match on television last month. After two weeks without a change to her condition, the Scalise family turned to Del Piero for a different kind of help. He obliged with a video message to Giada.
Italy's ANSA news agency picks up the story from there:
The parents of Giada, a big Juventus supporter from the small southern town of Cerenzia, believe the footballer made an important contribution to the happy outcome. "That night (after listening to the message) something special happened," said the girl's father, Francesco.
"First she moved her hand and then after a few hours she called out 'mamma'. Then after about 24 hours she talked and asked for an ice-cream".
The girl's parents appealed for Del Piero's help via a charity after she fell ill and slipped on January 22.
In the message, he said: "Hello Giada, I'm Alessandro Del Piero. I hope you can wake up as soon as possible to watch lots of our and my games, to come and see us and, above all, get to know each other".
So there you have it. Not only can Del Piero score wonder goals from all over the pitch, but his voice also has wondrous healing powers. Then again, the girl's mighty desire for ice cream may have also had something to do with it.
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- Alessandro Del Piero