Grosso revels in big time

Grosso takes time to reach pinnacle
By Eurosport

06/07/2006 at 17:12Updated

Italian Fabio Grosso's path to the World Cup final has been long and hard, but at the age of 29, he has finally reached the pinnacle of the game. Grosso will line up in Berlin on Sunday to dispute the greatest prize in international football, just five ye

He stayed with the small club from near Pescara for three further seasons before making the big switch to Serie A with a free transfer to Perugia.

"Because I started off so low down it really gives me an incredible satisfaction to be where I am now," said Grosso.

"I don't just keep in touch with my team mates from those days with Chieti in the lower divisions, a lot of them are good friends and will be there at the stadium in Berlin on Sunday," he added.

"I am happy with my career and am proud to have started at a modest level. My career didn't really begin in professional terms until I was 23 or 24 years old but those days in Pescara were the best years. I have some great memories from my time at that level of football."


"It really is difficult to describe how I feel now. It's nice to have those memories and to think back but now I really have to concentrate on what is ahead of me on Sunday," said Grosso.

Italy's participation in Sunday's showdown is largely due to Grosso, who won the last minute penalty to overcome Australia in the last sixteen, and then scored the first in the 119th minute against Germany in the semi-final.

The goal that broke German hearts was a stunning strike, the ball curling past the outstretched arms of Jens Lehmann and perfectly inside the far post - a goal truly worthy of settling such an important game.

"Andrea (Pirlo) did brilliantly, for the umpteenth time, providing me with that pass and my shot was instinctive. I found the only space in the goal where the ball would go in," he said.

"As I say, it was instinctive and I still get emotional thinking about it. I will enjoy watching it again from Monday but hopefully I will have some good memories from Sunday as well."