Giovanni Padovani, 28, was handed a life sentence for murdering Alessandra Matteuzzi, 56, outside her home in August 2022 in Bologna.
Alessandra was on the phone to her sister Stefania who heard her screams as she was beaten with a hammer, a baseball bat and eventually a bench Padovani had picked up.
The former centre-back, who played for Sancataldese, ambushed Alessandra after his team told him to stay away from a training session.
Stefania told a local TV station: ‘She got out of her car and started screaming, “No Giovanni, no, I beg you, help.”
‘I was on the phone. I immediately called the [police] who arrived straight away.’
After the pair broke up, Padovania bombarded her with messages and calls, prompting her to report him for stalking.
But he continued to sabotage her car, disconnect her meter from outside the house and even tried to climb up her balcony.
Padovania tried to tell the court he was not in a fit state of mind at the time of the attack.
He said: ‘If I was completely lucid and capable I deserve life in prison. But if you consider that there is something abnormal, anomalous, in the conduct, then no.
‘I wasn’t well, because a person who is well doesn’t kill another human being. I’m in a nightmare, I’m sorry, this is a bigger burden than prison.’
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