Riccardo Montolivo will risk upsetting his German mother on Thursday by helping Italy beat Germany in their Euro 2012 semi-final.
The 27-year-old Italian midfielder, whose mother Antje met his father Marcello when they both studied in London, had an outstanding game in the quarter-final victory over England with the only blot missing his penalty in the shootout which Italy ended up winning 4-2.
"I thought the world was falling apart," admitted Montolivo.
However, his world was put back together quickly by his team-mates - especially the peerless playmaker Andrea Pirlo whose cheeky penalty rattled the English who missed their next two to all but hand victory to their opponents.
"I was waiting a long time for this moment, I am delighted to have played well but even more delighted that we qualified," he gasped with relief afterwards.
His performance in what was his first start of the tournament was also much appreciated by those around him.
"He (Montolivo) was one of the best performers," said coach Cesare Prandelli.
Montolivo, who also sports small German flags on his boots, and Prandelli know each other well from having played for the classy coach at Fiorentina from 2005-10 where he also was entrusted with the captaincy.