It is nine years since Damiano Tommasi last played in UEFA competition but the Italian Footballers' Association president is set for a sensational return next Thursday.
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The squads for the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round have been confirmed and the sensational news is that former Italy midfielder Damiano Tommasi, now 41, is poised for a comeback.
The erstwhile AS Roma man has been named on the SP La Fiorita list and, six years after hanging up his boots as a professional, he could line up for the Sammarinese outfit at home to FC Vaduz on Thursday. "It will be an opportunity for my children to watch me playing again as I've been missing from the international stage for so much time," he said.
Capped 25 times by Italy, Tommasi has played at amateur level since 2009 while fulfilling his role as president of the Italian Footballers' Association. He had left Roma, where he won the Scudetto, three years earlier and had spells at Levante UD, Queens Park Rangers FC and Tianjin Teda FC before stepping back from the limelight.
He is craving a bit of it now, though. "La Fiorita gave me the chance to relive this kind of challenge," said Tommasi. "It has been years since I watched a draw with so much anticipation [as I did on Monday]. I hope to add a beautiful chapter to my footballing career."
The last of Tommasi's 55 UEFA club competition appearances came in Roma's 1-0 round of 16 defeat at Middlesbrough FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup. He is not the first ex-Giallorossi player to end up with a Sammarinese club, though. Former team-mate Aldair joined SS Murata and played home UEFA Champions League qualifiers in 2007 and 2008 – losing both.