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Giorgio Tavecchio sends 'piece of history' to Stephen Gostkowski

Thanks to Giorgio Tavecchio, Stephen Gostkowski will have the football he booted 62 yards on Sunday in Mexico City. Rebecca Blackwell/AP

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Giorgio Tavecchio, a huge international soccer fan, wanted to take home a piece of history from the Oakland Raiders game at historic Estadio Azteca.

So the Raiders kicker grabbed a ball that had the NFL In Mexico logo emblazoned upon it when the team arrived back at its headquarters on Monday. Then he wondered if the K-ball he grabbed, labeled No. 1, might have been the one New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski booted 62 yards for a field goal at Mexico City's 7,200-feet elevation at the close of the first half.

"He smoked it," Tavecchio said. "I told him and he said, 'Thanks.'"

Tavecchio also had the Raiders equipment staff give the Patriots a call to find out which ball Gostkowski kicked for the third-longest field goal in NFL history. Matt Prater has the record with a 64-yarder while Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowski and David Akers have converted from 63 yards.

"Just out of respect," Tavecchio said, "because he should have it."

Indeed, Gostkowski kicked K-ball 1, and the Raiders were preparing to send it to New England as Tavecchio rummaged through the equipment for his own keepsake.

He has K-ball No. 3 at his locker now and, yes, it's also emblazoned with the NFL In Mexico logo.

And while Gostkowski's field goal hit the net behind the uprights with plenty of room to spare, the furthest Tavecchio kicked one in pregame warmups was from 56 yards out.

It was true, and Tavecchio said it would have been good from another 10 yards out.