Italy star wore German flag in semi-final

Riccardo MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo

Re-posted from Yahoo!UK/Eurosport

One of the Italian stars who ended Germany's dream of making the Euro 2012 final did so while wearing a German flag on his boots.

And before you start asking if there's some Photoshop trickery going on here, it turns out that the man in question, Riccardo Montolivo, is actually half German, grew up speaking German, and has German nationality.

The Fiorentina midfielder's mother is German, and though she moved to Italy after meeting her husband Marcello - whom she met in Kent, of all places - she raised Riccardo to embrace his Germanic side.

"He speaks perfectly in German," Antje Montolivo told Corriere della Serra. "Ever since he was a child I spoke to him in my mother tongue."

Though the 27-year-old star - who missed a penalty in the shootout victory over England - was born and raised in Italy, he spent the whole of every summer with his cousins in the northern German town of Kiel and says he has "great memories of those years and still have many friends."

In keeping with all this the player decided to wear boots throughout the tournament which have a German flag embroidered on one foot and an Italian one on the other.

But despite still keeping a German passport he claims there is no question of where his loyalty lies: Montolivo has been part of the Italian international set-up since his teenage years, however, and claims that he feels, "90 per cent Italian - and I love the blue shirt."