The biggest prize in sport deserved to be handled better.
It has been less than a week since Italy's penalty shootout victory over France in Berlin, but the coveted trophy is no longer in one piece.
Pictures on the front page of Italian newspaper Il Messaggero showed skipper Fabio Cannavaro staring at the Cup, then holding up what appeared to be a piece of green malachite that has broken off its base.
When the picture was taken, Cannavaro was sitting on the Italian team bus when on his way to visit Gianluca Pessotto, the former Juventus player who is in hospital in Turinafter falling from a window of the club's offices during the tournament.
Thepiece may have come off the trophy on the bus, according to the newspaper which also claimed it was later fixed up with glue.
The Italian captain admitted that he slept with the trophy on the night of winning the final, Sydney Morning Heraldreported.
The World Cup triumph was supposed to be a boon for Italy, struggling to come to terms with the Serie A match-fixing scandalinvolving four of the biggest clubs in the country.