If a story had to sum up the incredibly generous and thoughtful Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, then this would be it.
Two months after the death of Srivaddhanaprabha, who sadly passed away in the helicopter crash outside the club’s stadium, an incredible tale involving a 24-year-old waiter has emerged online.
It turns out former player turned waiter Davide Lorenzo was serving Srivaddhanaprabha in a restaurant when the Italian recognised him.
Lorenzo asked to serve the group of Thai businessman and the pair began chatting about football in the Nice based diner.
The 24-year-old soon mentioned his time at Juventus as a youth player. He was released from the Italian giants and later struggled to find a permanent club in Malta, Belgium and Norway.
Lorenzo then went on to have trials in the USA with New York Red Bulls and New York Cosmos, but his tourist visa expired and he was forced to return to Europe.
Struggling to find a club, he moved to France to live near his girlfriend.
He soon became a waiter when his dream of becoming a footballer faded, but in a remarkable set of circumstances, Vichai met Lorenzo and asked him whether he’d be interested in playing in Thailand or Belgium, where Leicester’s sister clubs are based.
Vichai soon arranged for the 24-year-old to have a trial at the club so coaches could assess his level of play.
Lorenzo clearly impressed, and although off the mark in terms of match fitness, Leicester decided to offer him a chance to train with the Premier League side.
He has since packed up his job as a waiter and plays full-time after the club offered him a short term deal, where he can play in under 23 matches.
Image: Davide Lorenzo
Claude Puel has since spoken about Lorenzo’s chances of making an impact at The Foxes and it sounds promising.
“It is an interesting story. He met Vichai in a restaurant and told him his dream to come to Leicester to show his quality. We know the chairman liked this spirit when a man has a dream and tries to give his best.” he said via The Leicester Mercury.
“He offered for him to come for a trial and I gave him a contract. It is a nice story.
“Then we will see his future, but now he needs to get fit and we will see, perhaps put him out on loan or give him some game time.
“He trains with the under-23s, we will see if he can come into the first team. It is early because he hasn’t trained for one year, but it is a good feeling and a good story of course.”
Image: Davide Lorenzo
In an interview with Italian website Tutto Mercato, the player himself expressed his dream has become a reality:
“I am happy to have achieved this goal which I have pursued for so long. I know the contract was a consequence of the changes I have made on and off the pitch.
“I have learned so much from previous mistakes, now I just want to train hard every day and see where it takes me.”
“Puel told me to keep working hard because they have seen my desire and my qualities – now I have to get back in shape.
“It’s a dream, it really is, to have trained with Adrien Silva and Nampalys Mendy. Incredible.
“One month ago I would have given my blood just to go back to Italy and play Serie C. But I never stopped believing in myself and now I have a second chance.”
What an incredible story.
Let’s hope it has a fairy-tale ending.