TURIN – Italian soccer legend Alessandro Del Piero was sporting a new title of miracle worker after being credited with waking a young girl from a two-week coma.
The Juventus great was acclaimed by the relatives of 12-year-old Giada Scalise, who said an audio message Del Piero recorded helped to bring her out of her slumber.
Scalise, from Crotone in southern Italy, suffered a brain hemorrhage while watching her beloved Juventus play on TV on Jan. 22 and lapsed into the coma.
After seeing days pass at the hospital without a hint of movement, her desperate parents contacted the 2006 World Cup winner to beg for help.
Del Piero responded with an audio and video message, which was played to the sick girl, saying, "Hello Giada, this is Alessandro del Piero. I hope you'll wake up and come back to us as soon as possible to watch many of our games."
Nurses at the hospital played the tapes on a daily basis before Scalise eventually began to stir. Within hours, she had spoken and a day later was asking for ice cream.
Her father, Francesco Scalise, told local reporters he was in no doubt that the 37-year-old forward's messages helped to trigger the breakthrough.
His daughter was forced to wait a little longer to see Del Piero and Juventus in action again, though.
The veteran's apparent superhuman powers could do nothing to prevent the Italian title-chaser's game at Bologna on Sunday being postponed amid heavy snow.