Date: 12th September 2008 at 2:34pm
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Rangers newest signing Damiano Tommasi is a professional footballer with a difference, Vital QPR regular daxvondrac runs the rule over the Italian.

Rangers announced the signing this week of 34 year old defensive midfielder and ex Italian internarional Damniano Tommasi.

Tommasi played 25 times for the Italian national team, but is perhaps better known for being a very rare thing indeed. A footballer who is happy with his financial lot and prepared to give back money for the good of the game.

His career started at Verona in Serie B in 1993, where he became an established Under 21 international and played for the Italian side in the 1996 Olympics.

Shortly afterward in that same year he signed for Roma and made his Serie A debut, and was selected for the full Italian side in 1998 making his debut against Spain.

it took him some 3 or 4 years to really establish himself at international level, but he eventually did play in all 4 of Italy’s matches in the 2002 World Cup.

It was in 2004-5 that he really achieved his fame in the wider world, and bizarrly Gerry Taggart of Stoke City was the main reason. A tackle by Taggart in a pre-season friendly at Stoke left Tommasi with appalling damage to his knee and an 18 month spell on the sidelines.

Remarkably, when his contract expired in the middle of this injury, he refused a normal extension and accepted a youth team wage of ?1,500 per month until he could prove his fitness.

Like the Bosman transfer, this act caused a major stir in football fields, but unlike the Bosman, it was not widely accepted by fellow professionals!

Tommasi continued his philanthropatic streak once returning to full fitness, setting up a trust, in which footballers could pay their disciplinary fines, all of which went to charitable causes.

After two years with Levante, some would say his most charitable act may be to join Queens Park Rangers in the championship, but the hope is, that like Gareth Ainsworth, Damiano Tommasi will be able to hone his coaching skills at the club and aid the young imports from the spanish speaking world to mature into great players.

It seems Rangers may have signed a winner on and off the pitch.

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