Crazy football stories: Fan slept rough in Milan for 11 years after getting lost at San Siro

The San Siro, home of AC Milan and Inter Milan

A Swiss football fan once slept rough on the streets of Milan for 11 years after getting lost at the San Siro.

Yes, really.

On August 24, 2004, FC Basel travelled to Italy to play Inter Milan in their Champions League qualifying second leg clash.

Inter ran out 4-1 winners, with Adriano (2), Alvaro Recoba and Dejan Stankovic all on the scoresheet.

Rolf Bantle, then 60 years old, was among the 50,402 fans in attendance that day.

After watching his side dumped out of the Champions League, things quickly went from bad to worse for the Swiss pensioner.

Bantle went to the toilet after the match, got disorientated and lost his friends. He subsequently missed his ride home.

Adriano in action for Inter Milan vs Basel in 2004
nter Milan’s Adriano scores past Basel’s goalkeeper Zueberbuehler in their Champions League third round qualifying match at the St. Jakob Park stadium in Basel. Inter Milan’s Adriano (R) scores past Basel’s goalkeeper Pascal Zueberbuehler (L) during their Champions League third round qualifying match at the St. Jakob Park stadium in Basel, August 11, 2004. REUTERS/Pascal Lauener

With limited money and no way to contact his friends, Bantle had no choice but to leave the stadium and head into Milan.

“I was suddenly in a different sector [of the stadium],” he told Schweiz am Sonntag, a Swiss newspaper, per Goal. “I had about €20 in my pocket and no phone so I wandered into Milan.

“People gave me food and cigarettes, and one student offered me a sleeping bag.”

Bantle had no relatives. He was living in a group home in Laufelfingen, near Basel, prior to his day-trip.

The FC Basel fan was reported missing but he had no intention of returning to Switzerland. He actually liked sleeping on the streets of Milan.

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“There was for me no longer any reason to go home. I enjoyed the freedom of Milan,” he said.

Bantle was finally found in 2015 when he broke his femur. He possessed no Italian health insurance and so Swiss authorities were alerted to his presence.

It was only then that he finally returned to his home land. He received treatment at a Basel hospital, before moving into a retirement home.

“I like it here,” he added. “Ten years is enough and here I feel very good now.”

What a crazy story.

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