Sun, Dec 08, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Boys injured in Albanian quake meet Serie A soccer players Ronaldo, Buffon

AP, TIRANA, Albania

Two Albanian boys who jumped from their apartments during an earthquake that killed relatives got a small reprieve from the tragedy on Friday when they met their soccer idols.

Aurel Lala, 7, and Alesio Cakoni, 10, jumped from the balconies of their apartments to escape the collapsing building in Thumane, one of the hardest hit towns in the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that killed 51 people and injured more than 3,000. Aurel lost his sister and grandmother, while Alesio lost his father and sister.

The boys were taken to the hospital and then visited by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who learned of their dream.

Rama on Friday took them to Rome to meet Juventus players Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon.

Both boys received a signed jersey and took a photograph with the players. They hugged and exchanged high-fives with the players.

“It is not only for them. It is for all the suffering people in the country,” Rama said.


Inter were held to a goalless draw by AS Roma at the San Siro on Friday, leaving the way open for Serie A champions Juventus to reclaim the top spot this weekend.

Antonio Conte’s side have a two-point advantage on Juventus who played SS Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico yesterday.

The match in the San Siro had been overshadowed by a racism storm after Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport’s controversial “Black Friday” headline.

On the pitch, defender Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini stifled Inter’s prolific strike duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who between them have scored 18 of their team’s goals in 15 league games this season.

Conte’s side proved toothless in attack against a well-organized Roma, failing to find the net for the first time this season, days before their UEFA Champions League clash against Barcelona.

“The great merit of Roma is having stopped Lautaro-Lukaku,” said coach Paulo Fonseca. “Inter’s main chances came from our mistakes, but we always played the ball with courage and that’s what I want for the team.

Additional reporting by AFP

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