Friday December 17 2010
Boniperti holds back the tears

Juventus legend Giampiero Boniperti admits he had to fight back the tears on hearing that his grandson Filippo played against Manchester City on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old earned a rave review for his second half cameo from Juventus boss Gigi Del Neri, who told the club's official TV channel: "He carries a name, perhaps the most important in the history of Juventus. He has all the qualities to honour it."

As for Boniperti, the occasion clearly made him very emotional.

"You don't cry out of happiness," he said. "But this time you almost could.

"I didn't see the game. I closed myself in a room alone and listened to the commentary on the radio. Hearing 'Del Piero passes to Boniperti' gave me chills.

"Filippo was very emotional. In the last few days he told me about his anxiety. I am very happy for him.

"Making your debut with the Juventus shirt is a wonderful thing, a day that you can't forget.

"My son Giampaolo just called me from the stadium. You know, fathers are always stronger than grandfathers.

"I spent the moment alone. I don't even know what my wife did. But she was also agitated. As a boy I dreamed of playing at least one game with the Juventus shirt, not only did I play 462 I also saw my grandson wear the same shirt. It was very beautiful."