Lone Soccer Fan in Stadium Captures Italian Hearts

The World

GENOA, ITALY - DECEMBER 10: A lone fan of Udinese Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on December 10, 2012 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Valerio Pennicino

There's a primal feeling about being in a big sports stadium. The cheering and singing for your favorite team. The jokes and camaraderie. It's something that Arrigo Brovedani enjoys. And something he was looking forward to last Monday when he went to an away game for his soccer team, Udinese, against their rivals, Sampdoria. Only when Arrigo got there, he was quite alone. Yup, he was the only person in the visitors' stand, with its capacity for 4,000. The home team's bleachers were packed. Undeterred, Brovedani cheered and shouted for Udinese, getting a grateful wave from the team's captain. It was all caught on camera, and the young man has now become something of a legend across Italy. He told the BBC, "I was not alone, I had my flag." The Sampdoria fans booed him when he entered the stadium, but his defiance seems to have won them over, and he was invited for drinks afterwards. And Arrigo Brovedani may have had the last laugh. Udinese beat Sampdoria 2-0.