Inter spied on Vieri during his time at the club, and it must now pay him compensation, the Associated Press reports.
“Vieri filed a lawsuit against his former club and Telecom Italia for a combined €21 million in damages five years ago, after word leaked that they had spied on him to monitor his life off the pitch,” the AP says.
“Vieri said that when details of the alleged spying became public in 2006, it damaged his playing career by causing him undue stress.”
On Monday, an Italian court ordered Inter and Telecom Italia to pay Vieri £800,000 ($1.25 million) in damages. Reports claim that Inter tapped the former Italian international’s phone during the 2000-01 season and in 2004 as well.
The now-retired Vieri played for Inter from 1999-2005, but his career sputtered after leaving the club. He played for six other teams in Italy and France before retiring in 2009. The nine goals he scored for Fiorentina in 2007-08 represent the zenith of his post-Inter years.
At his peak, Vieri was one of Italy’s most celebrated players, winning Italian Player of the Year awards in 1999 and 2002. He played 49 times for the national team, including standout performances at FIFA World Cup in both 1998 and 2002.
The court ruled that Vieri suffered from the spying, and it may have robbed him of the chance to play at peak levels during the twilight years of his career.