Former Italy international Fabrizio Miccoli was sentenced to prison for his role in the extortion of a nightclub owner, along with the son of a reputed Sicilian Mafia boss.
Miccoli’s initial 2017 conviction and sentence were upheld, according to Italy’s highest court of appeal, meaning three years and six months in prison for attempting to help a friend recover a 12,000 euro (today $13,442) debt using a “Mafia method.”
According to the Gazzetta Dello Sport, Miccoli turned himself in at the Rovigo prison, about 60 kilometers from Venice.
Miccoli’s sentence, which was upheld in an initial appeal in January of last year, is related to an affair that began in 2010.
The court ruled that the then-Palermo captain contacted Mauro Lauricella, son of alleged mob boss Antonino Lauricella, to try to reclaim the owed money from the owner of a club outside Palermo.
The pair were found guilty of using violence and threats to recover a debt owed to Giorgio Gasparini, a former physiotherapist at Palermo.
The same appeals court sentenced Lauricella junior to seven years in prison for his role in the crime last month.
Around the time the accusations were made public in 2013, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica published wiretapped conversations in which Miccoli referred to murdered anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone as “filth.”
Falcone, a national hero in Italy for his fight against the Sicilian Mafia with long-time friend Paolo Borsellino, was killed, along with his wife and three police escorts, in a massive bomb blast in Capaci, outside Palermo, in 1992.
He and Borsellino, who was assassinated by the Mafia in another bomb attack a few weeks later, convicted over 300 mobsters in Italy’s first “Maxi Trial,” which concluded in early 1992.
Miccoli, now 42, is Palermo’s all-time leading scorer and has also played in Serie A for Juventus and Fiorentina.
Between 2003 and 2004, he appeared in ten games for Italy, scoring twice.