World champion Alessandro Del Piero savoured his day of glory yesterday as Italian media celebrated the awarding of the Golden Foot award to the Juventus captain.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Del Piero merely said "it is fantastic" as he received the prize late on Monday in Monte Carlo from Prince Albert of Monaco.
As part of the ceremony, the 32-year-old striker left a mould of his foot on the Champions Promenade, a stretch of Monte Carlo's seafront.
Del Piero narrowly beat Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos, while David Beckham and Paolo Maldini also received high marks from experts and football fans participating in the poll through the Golden Foot website.
The one-time award is reserved for footballers older than 29.
Previous winners are Roberto Baggio, the first winner in 2003, Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Pavel Nedved, Andriy Shevchenko, Dino Zoff and Ronaldo.
"In these moments, you try to remember which was the game of your life," Del Piero said. "I recall two: the winning of the Intercontinental Cup with Juve [in 1996] and the [2-0] win over Germany at the 2006 World Cup.
"Sometimes I see again my goals and my joy. I was out of control." - Sapa-DPA