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Miccoli puts on Maradona-like display with stunning hat trick
Reuters, September 30th, 2012 10:12PM

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Italian Fabrizio Miccoli, whose admiration for Argentine great Diego Maradona has extended to paying $25,000 for an earring that Maradona once owned and naming his son Diego, put on a Maradona-like display in Sunday, scoring a hat trick -- including an incredible volley from 50 yards -- in Palermo's 4-1 win over Chievo.

The diminutive Miccoli, known as the "Pocket Rocket," scored on a curling free kick around the wall and a run past three defenders before taking a ball in the air just inside the Chievo half and hooking a looping effort that flew over stunned Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino and bounced just before it crossed the line.

At 33, Miccoli has often been overlooked for the Italian national team in recent years. Indeed, he was been underrated throughout his career that has taken him to Juventus, Perugia, Fiorentina and Benfica before settling at Palermo, where he has played for six seasons.

"It is one of my best days," he said. "This is my sixth season in Palermo and every time I feel as if I have to start from scratch and prove I'm not old, or just good enough to play the last half hour."

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