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15-Nov-2020, 09:33 pm

'I dedicate this to the whole country' - San Marino tears of joy as tiny nation make history with back-to-back draws

San Marino Dante Rossi

Dante Rossi broke down in tears during a post-match interview following San Marino’s draw with Gibraltar, but was ableto dedicate the unlikely result to the whole nation.

Centre-back Rossi was particularly pleased with back-to-back clean sheets, so much so that he broke down in tears during his interview.

“For me it's really a dream,” the 33-year-old Chiesanuova defender said during an interview with RTV San Marino. “I can't talk much.

“My family is happy, my wife too. I want to say thank you to my team-mates and all the staff.We hope to stay here for a long time.

"I dedicate this draw to the whole country. We are a small country but we have a big heart.

“To my family, my wife and all my friends,I apologise."

The draw with Gibraltar concluded San Marino’s Nations League Group D2 campaign, and they will finish bottom of the pool ontwo points.

But for a nation who have often been the butt ofjokes as their team is often filled with amateurs whose dayjobs vary from accountants to salesmen, to secure back-to-back draws is some achievement.

The next target for San Marino is a win in competitive action. They have only one victory to their name, a 1-0 success over Liechtenstein in a friendly way back in 2004.

Choking back tears, Rossi urged the nation’s supporters to stay with them as he says it is only the beginning of the journey.

At 33 years of age, Rossi may not have many years ahead of him on the international stage, but the Argentina-born defender is not ready to walk away any time soon.

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