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Alberto Ferrente is a character mentioned in Flower, Sun, and Rain. He is a famous Italian soccer player, or "Fantasista," and an inspiration to system engineering specialist Stephan Charbonie. Ferrente's most famous moment was during the fictional 1994 World Cup match between Italy and Brazil. This match reportedly lasted the full 90 minutes, as well as 30 minutes of overtime without a single goal scored. After coming down to a penalty shootout, Ferrente took the stand as final kicker, however he missed the kick, striking the ball with his left instep and sending it over the crossbar, causing Italy to lose the World Cup. As Ferrente turned away however, he muttered the words "La vita continua," meaning "Life goes on."
- Ferrente's story of the Italy-Brazil match is almost identical to Roberto Baggio, a real Italian soccer player who actually was one of Italy's top players in the 1994 World Cup. The Cup Match against Brazil was almost exactly as described in the game; the only difference is that when Baggio's turn for the penalty kick came, Italy was already losing and even if he scored, the next Brazil kicker had to miss to give a chance to the Italian team. However, Baggio missed and the last shot was unneeded. After the match was lost, Baggio actually proclaimed, "La vita continua."