It's not uncommon for international players to have their countries flag personalised onto their football boots. It is uncommon however for that flag not to match that of the players jersey! Italian born midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has the German flag printed onto the side of his adidas Predator LZ football boots.
Montolivo's mother hails from Hamburg Germany, while his father is Italian. For Italy's semi-final European Championship match against tournament hot-shots Germany, the former Fiorentina midfielder – who missed a penalty against England – will have to put his mother's German routes to one side as Italy vie for a place in the final.
“It's for sure a special match," Montolivo said. "Part of me is German. I spent every summer in Germany until I was 15 with my grandparents near Hamburg and I'm still in touch with many friends there. But I feel Italian.”
The AC Milan player speaks fluently in both Italian and German after spending much of his childhood growing up in Hamburg. He is in danger of upsetting his German mother if his side are successful in knocking out Joachim Low's in-form Germany team. "My mother is 60 per cent Germany fan and 40 per cent Italy fan.”
"I have a few (German) character traits - maybe my coolness, but not while taking penalties!" Montolivo failed to hit the target following his penalty spot kick against England. If Italy's semi-final clash goes to the wire, he won't be deterred from stepping up again. "If we go to penalties again then definitely I would go back on to the spot to take one. Only people who never shoot never miss."
Montolivo is expected to start for Italy wearing his special Predator LZ boots. Who are you backing to make the European Championship final? Can Italy stop the German machine? Let us know what you think online, on Twitter and on Facebook.