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'Notte magica'

Contento revels in Champions League debut

The singer Gianna Nannini performed a ditty named Notti magiche for the 1990 World Cup, just after Diego Contento came into the world. 19 years later, the Munich-born German-Italian has enjoyed his own notte magica, a magic night: Wednesday evening brought his Champions League debut, against an Italian club, and watched by his proud parents up in the Allianz Arena stands.

“It’s fantastic of course,” said the left-back after coming on at half-time against Fiorentina. He admitted to nerves at the start. “My first game in front of 66,000 people was something else.” But after ten or fifteen minutes, his nervousness evaporated and his touch became increasingly assured. “I had more faith in myself. The last half-hour was pretty good,” he summed up.