CNN  — 

Former AS Roma star Francesco Totti has paid a visit to a 19-year-old girl he helped wake from a coma, according to Rome’s Gemelli hospital.

Ilenia Matilli has been in hospital since December following a serious car accident in which her best friend died.

In a press release the Rome hospital said that Matilli and Totti spent about an hour together on Monday.

According to the hospital, Totti had played a “key role” in helping wake Matilli up from a coma when she showed signs of recovery after a video message from the former footballer was played.

“Hold on and don’t give up,” Totti, who retired from football in 2017, said in the message.

Matilli, writing on a board to help her communicate, said she wanted to meet Totti in person, who duly fulfilled the wish this week.

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“I want to see you soon out of the hospital and taking back your life,” Totti is quoted as saying to Matilli, who was wearing AS Roma’s team colors during the meeting.

Doctor Luca Padua, who leads Gemelli’s Neurorehabilitation department, said the use of sound, music and pictures on the walls all contributed to waking Matilli from her comatose state.

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According to AFP, Matilli plays for Lazio’s women’s team. There is a fierce rivalry between Roma and Lazio.

Totti made over 750 appearances for Roma, scoring 300 goals. He won the European Golden Shoe in 2007 and was a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006.

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Watch the meeting between Totti and Matilli at the top of the page.