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Remembering Amedeo Amadei – A Tribute To The Roma Legend

Amedeo Amadei
Amedeo Amadei (Image via forza-roma.com)

On 24 November, Giallorossi supporters worldwide mourned the loss of one of their own as it was announced that striker Amedeo Amadei had passed away at the age of 92. Nicknamed il Fornatteo as a result of hailing from Frascati, he began his career with Roma in 1936 and became the youngest ever debutant when he made his first appearance on 2 May 1937 at the age of 15 in a stalemate with Fiorentina—a record that still stands today. A week later, his solitary strike in the team’s 5-1 defeat to Lucchese (now in Serie D) earned him yet another unbroken record in becoming the youngest goal scorer in Italian football’s top flight.

After a brief hiatus with Atalanta, he returned to the capital club in 1939, where in his nearly 10 years there he won the team’s first ever Scudetto (during the 1941-1942 season) and made his mark as one of the most prolific attackers in Italian football while serving at the club’s captain for five seasons between 1943 and 1948.

Economic problems saw him moving north to Inter where he donned the Nerazzurri jersey for two seasons, and had no difficulty in adjusting to his new side as the goals continued to arrive. Not only did he reach a century of goals but his also netted a hat-trick in the Derby della Madonnina in a performance that certainly deserves to be ranked as among the best derby clashes of all time. On 6 November 1949, Inter were 4-1 down thanks to the brilliant attacking trio of Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm (also known as Gre-No-Li). But what the Rossoneri had in their Swedish strike force, Inter had in Amadei, as his three goals, were enough not just to bring the Nerazzurri into the game but also earned them all three points in an impressive 11-goal thriller.

On the international front, Amadei didn’t make his debut until 1949, first featuring in a clash with Spain in March that finished 3-1 in favour of the Azzurri. Incredibly, despite his fine form for Roma, due to the fact that the team was predominantly dominated by player from Torino, he didn’t get to make his debut for his national side until he moved to Inter.  Following the Superga air disaster that wiped out most of the Torino squad and subsequently their representatives to the national side, he was given the opportunity to make a smattering of appearances, including participating in one game at the 1950 World Cup, a clash with Paraguay. All in all, he made a total of 13 appearances for the national side, scoring seven goals, with his last strike coming on 18 May 1952 in a one-one friendly draw with England.

After a couple seasons in Milan, he moved south to ply his trade with newly promoted side Napoli, where he accumulated a respectable 47 goals in 171 appearances for the Partenopei and opted to finally end his playing career there in 1956. In total, his 174 goals make him the 13th most prolific scorer in Serie A history, 5th for Roma, and is one half of a duo (the other being Silvio Piola) to net at least 40 goals with three different teams.

Whilst not as successful on the international stage, Amaedi was honoured by being one of 11 players inducted into Roma’s hall of fame a bit more than a year prior to his passing, becoming the oldest living former Giallorossi player to receive that accolade. Indeed, one can certainly argue that it was a fitting final prize for a legendary player who now will be as eternal as the city he called home.