Opera singer Carly Paoli stunned fans by revealing a full Italy kit for the Azzurri’s national anthem before the Nations League clash against England at the San Siro.
The vocalist, born in Mansfield with English and Italian ancestry, was tasked with performing both anthems for the Friday night match in Milan.
She belted out the first performance of ‘God Save The King’ for the Three Lions following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month.
Then, Paoli took off a red coat to reveal a full Italy kit, socks and all, before singing ‘Il Canto degli Italiani’ to a delighted home crowd.
And it turns out this is something of a trademark for the 33-year-old.
In 2021, Paoli sang both anthems for Northern Ireland’s home clash against Italy – and took off a blue coat to unveil the Green and White Army’s kit underneath, before a spine-tingling rendition of ‘God Save The Queen’.
The reaction from both sets of supporters is what led Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina to offer her the gig at the San Siro.
Paoli has spoken of the ‘honour and privilege’ of singing both anthems for Italy and England.
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“Singing God Save the Queen was a tradition for Her Majesty and now it is important to celebrate the new King and it is a privilege to be able to do that,” Paoli told the Belfast Telegraph.
“I’m sure the royal family will be watching Italy play England, especially the Prince of Wales (William) and his sons who I know are huge football fans.
“My mother’s side of the family comes from Italy and I have grown up in England so it is really exciting to sing both national anthems that mean so much to me.
“Singing Inno di Mameli in front of a passionate Italian crowd will be simply wonderful and to have the honour of singing God Save the King for the first time in international football will make it a night I will never forget.”
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