Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti says he felt like Rocky when local fans showed their support for him after being frozen out of the club.
The 27-year-old, who stood in for Gigi Buffon at the World Cup, hasn't played at all this season after Cagliari President Massimo Cellino took act with an interview he gave to La Gazzetta dello Sport, expressing his interest in a move to Sampdoria.
"I only expressed an opinion," he said. "But the Saturday on which the interview was published, the director Marroccu let me know that Cellino didn't like it because he doesn't see eye to eye with the journalist who wrote it.
"That day we played a friendly. Twenty fans protested me, but the majority asked for an autograph. The following Monday, Cellino declared: 'Marchetti is on the market. You should have spoken with me instead of telling the newspapers certain things'.
"I was demoted as a starter to third goalkeeper without any explanation.
"I go running in the mornings and one day the kids who were going to school waved at me.
"A gentleman shouted: 'We are all with you'. You remember how Rocky trained with the kids running behind him? Well, I felt like Rocky."