The kit man plays a special role on every team.  They are responsible for taking to the players’ needs from making sure their cleats are in top condition to preparing team jerseys and having backups on hand.

Italy players paid tribute to Pietro Lombardi, the Azzurri’s kit man for the 2006 FIFA World Cup winning team, who passed away recently at the age of 92.  Lombardi was known as ‘Spazzolino (the toothbrush)’ because he kept the players’ cleats so clean.

Francesco Totti said on his blog; “A great, a person to whom I was fond of in a special way. Always with a smile, always available. He always had great respect and admiration for all the players of the national team. A unique person, I will miss a lot. Toothbrush, you will always be in my heart.”

But it was Daniele De Rossi’s tribute that is making headlines.  The AS Roma attended the kit man’s funeral and left a special gift in his coffin.  The 32-year-old midfielder left his 2006 FIFA World Cup winners medal with Lombardi for his part in the success of the team.