Matteo Aicardi, Italy's top scorer, donned a bright white mask to protect the broken nose he suffered in the team's opening victory against Spain on Saturday.
The headgear didn't hamper his performance; he scored four goals as Italy moved top of the group.
The mask gives the 30-year-old a unique look in the pool, akin to a hockey goalie, or Zorro. It's a necessary precaution, he said.
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''I'm not a DJ or anything,'' Aicardi grinned. ''I need to wear this mask.''

Matteo Aicardi (ITA) of Italy and Igor Kovacevic (FRA) of France in action

Image credit: Reuters

Aicardi had been close to missing Monday's game but told national coach Alessandro Campagna he would play through the pain if he could wear the plastic mask.
Injuries are common in water polo, a notoriously rough game often featuring flying elbows, grappling and kicking among the players in the water. Aicardi had his nose broken in the opening seconds of Saturday's match against Spain, and sat out the rest of that game. He said he wasn't even sure how the injury happened.
''The action was so fast. Probably I was hit by a foot, strongly in my face,'' Aicardi told reporters on Monday, emerging from the pool with crimson bruises under both eyes.
''I got one punch and one shot in my face today, but everything is okay.''
Aicardi, a silver medallist with Italy's team in 2012, said he'll also wear a mask in the team's next match against Montenegro on Wednesday.
Monday was the second day of water polo competition. On the other side of the draw in Group A, gold medal favorites Serbia have so far been held to two draws, against Hungary and Greece.
The six teams in each group play each other with the top four from both reaching the quarter-finals.
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