Udinese traveled to Genoa for its Serie A match against Sampdoria on Monday and one man showed up to support the team in the otherwise empty away end. Whether that man (and no, he isn't Eddie Vedder) happened to be a local Udinese supporter or the only person who made the 600-mile round trip from Udine to follow his club isn't clear, but he was there and he was apparently the only one.
His presence was such a delight to the home supporters that instead of abusing him as football fans tend to do with larger visiting crowds, they cheered him and he gave them a wave.
His effort proved well worth it though, as Udinese won 2-0.
UPDATE: The lone Udinese fan has been identified as 37-year-old wine merchant Arrigo Brovedani. His account of what happened is really quite wonderful. From Football Italia:
"I was in Genoa for a work meeting and usually take a trip round the area around this time of year, but it was pure coincidence Udinese were playing there at the same time. So I took advantage and organised a ticket," he told udinetoday.it.
"If I am in a city where Udinese happen to be playing, clients tend to send me free tickets, as they know my passion for the team. This time it wasn't possible and I had to sort it out myself. [...]
"I made the journey to Genoa, arrived at the stadium and only then did Irealise I was the only Udinese fan there! At that point the stewards asked if I wanted to sit in the main stand, but I insisted on going into the away end, seeing as I had paid for that ticket.
"I had the Udinese flag with me, as I carry it everywhere in my car. The Samp fans applauded me after we scored and they were really very kind. The stewards offered me coffee, then the Samp directors arrived to give me a team jersey.
"At the final whistle when I left, Samp fans came towards me and offered me a drink, complimenting me on my passion. It's a shame I couldn't stay long, as I had to run due to work commitments."
Brovedani says he doesn't know when his next away match will be. In a time when fan violence, misbehavior and hate are all top headlines, it's nice to see a reminder that people can be decent towards one another at a sporting event.
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