Tiziano Ferro, singer.
Born in Latina on 21 February 1980, Tiziano Ferro has been living in London since 2005. The talented singer spent seven years of his life studying classical guitar, two years learning the piano and one year perfecting his drumming skills. At the age of 16, his decision to join the local gospel choir was a fantastic opportunity for him to refine his burgeoning talent. It also gave him a real passion for ethnic music. Ferro took part in the world-famous Sanremo Music Festival on the Italian Riviera back in 1997, but failed make it past the first week. Not to be deterred, he came back one year later and sealed a place among the 12 finalists. The gifted musician subsequently signed a contract with EMI Music in 2001 and released his first single Xdono in July of that year. Ferro's debut single quickly became a huge hit in Italy, shooting to the number-one spot in terms of both sales and air-play.
After Italy's thrilling 2-0 extra-time win over Germany, he spoke exclusively to FIFAworldcup.com.
Where did you watch the game?
Unfortunately I haven't been able to watch all of Italy's games so far, but I've tried to keep abreast of results as much as possible. I've just released my latest album, Nessuno è solo, so I've had a lot of promotional work to do all over Europe. But yesterday's game was simply too big to miss: I was in Belgium and I made them finish the session at 20:00, so I could get back to my hotel in time for the match. My colleagues and I asked the hotel to give us an extra room so that we all get together to watch the big game. Luckily I won't be working when the Final's on, so I'll be able to watch that one at home in England.
What did you think of the team's performance?
It was a fantastic game, really great to watch! Justice was done in the end, no doubt about that. I'm no great shakes when it comes to tactics but it seemed to me that Italy more than held their own against very strong opponents who, let's not forget, were playing at home. As we all saw, the support for the home side was incredible.
I think we did very well, particularly in psychological terms. Germany provided a very stiff test and we came through it playing some excellent football. Things were finely balanced throughout the game; it was proving tough to find the net and the team had to work hard to keep their shape.
I think the turning point was the introduction of (Alessandro) Del Piero. I'm a big fan of his and I know him personally. He's a lovely bloke and showed last night just what a great player he is. He has the press constantly on his back but doesn't let any of it get to him. I want to thank him for yesterday's goal, and for all the excitement he gave us.
He's not the only one, of course. There are several key players in the Italian side who are capable of producing magical moments out on the pitch, (Francesco) Totti for one. I lost my voice last night because I shouted for the entire two hours. If I don't take it easy during the Final I'll be off work for a month!
What kind of fan are you?
I've never been much of a football fan before, but yesterday I understood what it's all about. I got so into the game while I was watching that I ended up a nervous wreck. I've got to make sure I don't watch too much, or I'll end up getting hooked.
All my family, from my late grandfather down to my brother, are diehard Lazio fans, whereas I've never really been into Serie A. If I had to choose a team it would have to be Lazio.
Who do you think will be Italy's opponents in the Final, Portugal or France?
I like Portugal a lot and they certainly deserve some success. But an ItalyFrance Final would be something else. I think we'll end up facing the French.
I'm a bit divided on that one, my heart wants Portugal to go through but my head says it is not to be.