Former international from Italy Damiano Tommasi is chosen as Verona's mayor

Updated: Jul 19

Damiano Tommasi, a former midfielder for the Italian national team, led a coalition of the center-left to defeat the incumbent right-wing candidate for mayor of Verona.

Federico Sboarina was defeated by Tommasi in the Sunday run-off to give Tommasi a surprising triumph in the northern Italian city. Tommasi has 25 caps for his country and won the Serie A championship with Roma in 2001.

The former head of the Italian Footballers' Association defeated Sboarina, a member of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, in the race as an independent.

The right-wing parties were divided, and Sboarina was unable to win over Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia.

Tommasi will now be the mayor of a city with a long history of right-wing politics. He was backed by the center-left Democratic Party (PD) and other leftist organizations.

On a night when the center-left also triumphed in significant cities like Parma and Piacenza, his victory stood out.

Tommasi, 48, who was raised close to the city, started his playing career at Verona, where he became a pro in 1993 before being traded to Roma three years later.

Over a decade, he played 351 times for the capital club, helping them win their most recent Scudetto as a member of a side that featured Francesco Totti and Gabriel Batistuta at the height of their prowess.

Three years later, when playing in a friendly against English team Stoke City, he suffered a devastating knee injury. Realizing that he would never play again, he signed a contract with Roma for the minimum wage of just 1,470 euros ($1,555) per month.

Later, he played for Levante and Queens Park Rangers before calling it quits for the first time in 2009 following a stint with Tianjin Teda in China.

From 2015 to 2019, Tommasi played with La Fiorita in San Marino after coming out of retirement. Tommasi served as the footballers' association's president from 2011 to 2020.

He is also well-known for having a goal disputedly disallowed in Italy's shocking golden-goal loss to South Korea in the World Cup's round of 16 in 2002.

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