The 27-year-old Italian midfielder, whose mother Antje met his father Marcello when they both studied in London, had an outstanding game in the quarter-final victory over England with the only blot missing his penalty in the shootout which Italy ended up winning 4-2. “I thought the world was falling apart,” admitted Montolivo, who also sports small German flags on his boots.
However, his world was put back together quickly by his teammates — especially the peerless playmaker Andrea Pirlo whose cheeky penalty rattled the English who missed their next two to all but hand victory to their opponents.
His performance in what was his first start of the tournament was much appreciated.
“He (Montolivo) was one of the best performers,” said coach Cesare Prandelli, who may also want Montolivo on the pitch from the start for his knowledge of the German language.