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Alessandro del Piero had some very kind words for Stephanie Roche

Roche flies out to join Ireland training camp in La Manga after an unforgettable evening in Zurich.

Image: Karla Zambra via Twitter

STEPHANIE ROCHE RUBBED shoulders with some of football’s biggest names in Zurich last night.

But the one which really stood out was Italy and Juventus legend Alessandro del Piero.

The pair met ahead of the Fifa Ballon d’Or gala where Roche was up against James Rodriguez and Robin van Persie for the Puskas Award for most beautiful goal.

Despite polling over 1.1 million votes, Roche had to settle for a richly-deserved second place behind James’s stunning strike against Uruguay in the World Cup.

Source: eileen gleeson/YouTube

“I met a lot of people here that I probably would never have had the chance to meet so that was nice,” she told the Ian Dempsey Show on Today FM this morning before flying out to La Manga to join the Irish national team.

“The one that kinda stuck out, the first person we met, was Del Piero. I met him in the lobby of the hotel and got a picture with him and he said ‘great goal.’

I think afterwards he said that I had the moral victory so that was really nice to hear from him.

Roche also met Rodriguez and recalled a nice little gesture from the Colombian superstar as he collected his prize.

“He actually seemed like a really nice guy but his English didn’t seem too great to be fair. He was lovely, he got into the pictures with us and shook our hands.

When he was coming back from picking up the award, he gave me a little tap. It was nice of him to acknowledge me even like that.

“He did seem like a really nice guy in fairness and congratulations to him, it was a great goal. After his World Cup, he probably did deserve to win it.”

There was one highly questionable selection in the FIFPRO team of the year

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Niall Kelly

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