46-year-old former Sampdoria and Fiorentina forward Francesco Flachi has returned to professional football more than a decade after he was banned from the sport.
He tested positive for cocaine in his system and was banned in 2010 for the test which was conducted on December 19, 2009. That was his second blacklisting from the sport after he served a two-year ban in 2007.
Flachi has now returned to professional football and made his debut for Italian fifth-tier side Signa 1914. He made over 100 Serie A appearances for Fiorentina and Sampdoria while scoring over 100 goals for the latter in over 280 appearances.
He told Gazzetta dello Sport, “This cancels 12 years of disqualification. It is my rebirth. This is the proof that I have also rebuilt.
“What have I felt? At first, I felt dizzy, I haven’t slept for a week due to tension. Now I am so happy, I want to thank everyone who made me feel like I was before: a football player,” he said during the interview.