Giorgio Chinaglia: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giorgio Chinaglia
Personal information
Full name Giorgio Chinaglia
Date of birth January 24, 1947 (1947-01-24) (age 62)
Place of birth    Carrara, Italy
Playing position Striker
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Swansea Town
New York Cosmos
006 00(1)
032 00(5)
066 0(24)
209 0(98)
National team
1972-1974 Italy 014 00(4)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Giorgio Chinaglia (born January 24, 1947) is a former football striker from Italy. He grew up and played his early football in Cardiff, Wales and began his career with Swansea Town in 1964. A year later at age 19, Chinaglia returned to Italy to play for Massese, and then Internapoli, before joining S.S. Lazio in 1969. With Lazio, he scored 98 goals in 209 league appearances, including 24 goals in the 1973-74 season to lead the club to its first Scudetto.

After returning to Italy, Chinaglia earned 14 caps with Italy, including two appearances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

In 1976, Chinaglia left Lazio to sign with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League. With the Cosmos team that also featured Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, Chinaglia won four league titles, and retired in 1983 with NASL's all-time leading scorer with 243 goals.

In 1983, Chinaglia returned to Rome to serve as president of Lazio from 1983, but saw the club relegated to Serie B in 1985, and then docked nine points for a corruption scandal. Chinaglia purchased a majority stake in the Cosmos in 1984, but the NASL folded later that year, and attempts to operate as an independent team in 1985 failed. In 2002 and 2006, he attempted to revive the Cosmos franchise with his business associate Peppe Pinton, who owns the rights to the team name and logo.

In 2000, Chinaglia was inducted into the United States National Soccer Hall of Fame and was named the greatest player in Lazio's history during the club's centenary celebrations.

In 2006, Italian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Chinaglia and eight others for attempting to influence the price of Lazio shares, and in 2008, he was charged with acting as a front for the Camorra crime organization in its attempt to acquire the club for money laundering.

He served as a studio analyst for ABC Sports' 2002 FIFA World Cup coverage in the United States, and is an analyst for Sirius Radio.


Early years in Wales

Chinaglia was born in Carrara, Tuscany in 1947, but in 1955, he moved Cardiff, Wales with his father Mario, mother Giovanna and his sister Rita, because of unemployment in Italy following World War II.[1] Because his family was poor, Chinagalia said, "All four of us lived in one room," he says, "My father was an ironworker and it was tough. I used to take the milk left on people's porches and drink it for breakfast."[2]

At age 13, by which time his father had bought an Italian restaurant in Cardiff, Chinaglia was spotted scoring a hat trick for Cardiff Schools, and joined Swansea Town in the Football League Third Division as an apprentice in 1962.[3]

Chinaglia made his senior side debut the 1964-65 season in a 2-2 draw at Rotherham United on October 14, 1964, in the League Cup third round, and made his only other appearance that season in a 0-0 draw at home against Portsmouth on February 13, 1965, before turning professional in April that year.[4]

The following season, he made three Football League Division Two starts for Swansea and one as a substitute, and his only league goal came in the 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth on August 24, 1965.

With Swansea, Chinaglia won the 1965 West Wales Senior Cup, scoring in the 3-0 victory in the final against Llanelli, and represented the Swansea Senior Association Football League in 1964 in a representative match against the Birmingham & District Works Football Association.[5]

Chinaglia said that he hated to train, and, "I never felt satisfied. But I've always been that way, I guess. When I was eight, I played soccer with kids 12 and 13. I always looked for older kids. What was the sense of doing anything on your own level?"[2] Chinaglia was often late to training and had taken to drinking, gambling and womanizing, and with no British club interested in signing him, Swansea allowed him to return to Italy on a free transfer.[1]

Club career in Italy


Serie C

In 1966, because of the lack of interest from British clubs and his compulsory Italian military service, Chinaglia, then age 19, and his family moved back to Carrara. He credited the military requirement with getting his career on track, saying, "Otherwise, I'd probably still be in Wales , slogging it out in the mud and drinking ale. The Italian army has a special regiment for soccer players, so all I did in the service was to train all day, and when my club had a game, get a pass."[2]

Chinaglia was banned from playing in Serie A, the top division, for three years because he had played professionally outside of Italy, and his father fixed him up with Massese, a Serie C club in Massa near his home.[6]

The following season, he joined another Serie C club, Internapoli in Naples, where he played two seasons and scored 26 goals in 66 matches.[2]


He made his name with Lazio, where he played for seven seasons. In 1974 Chinaglia scored a goal in the Rome derby, and pointed to the Curva Sud, Roma fans, and taunted them. Chinaglia led Lazio to the club's first championship in its history and was the league's lead scorer.

National team career

Chinaglia's play with Lazio earned him a place on Coach Ferruccio Valcareggi's shortlist for the Italy squad in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He did not make the final 22-man squad, but Valcareggi took him to Mexico for experience. [6]

In 1971, after Lazio were demoted to Serie B, Chinaglia became the first Italian national team player player in modern history to be selected from a second division club.[2]

In 1973, Chinaglia returned to England with the Azzurri to face England in a friendly match. In the 86th minute, Chinaglia beat English defender Bobby Moore and sent in a cross that was tapped in by Fabio Capello, helping Italy to its first win over England at Wembley Stadium.[7]

Chinaglia was selected Italy's squad at the 1974 FIFA World Cup and two matches. However, after he was substituted in a group match against Haiti, he argued with and cursed at Valcareggi [1], made an obscene gesture, and stormed into the dressing room, where he broke water bottles. [2]

He was ostracized by his teammates and the media, and the incident effectively ended his national team career with 14 caps and 4 goals.

Career with the Cosmos

In 1976, Chinaglia moved to the NASL and the New York Cosmos. While many foreign stars would play in the NASL (Pelé being the greatest example), Chinaglia was probably the first great player to leave his original team for the NASL while still in the prime of his career. This is evident with the great success he had in the NASL, scoring 242 goals in 254 games (including regular season and playoff competition). He led the NASL in scoring four times and would be the league's all-time leading scorer. Chinaglia would win the NASL Most Valuable Player Award in 1981.

However, he was not the most "fan-friendly" player during his career with the Cosmos. In addition to being so outspoken, his move from Italy to the NASL caused a split within the Italian-American community. While many were thrilled to have Chinaglia play in America, others thought he was being disloyal to Italy, and should have stayed there to help them win the World Cup. This polarization was most famously evident during a home game at Giants Stadium, when a Cosmos fan hired a plane to fly over the stadium during the game with a banner that said, "Giorgio Stinks!"

In 2000 he was inducted into the U.S.A. National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Later life

Chinaglia contributed to ABC's coverage of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

He currently hosts a weekly soccer talk show, The Football Show, Saturdays at 3AM [8] on Sirius Satellite Radio.

In 1979 Chinaglia became a naturalized American citizen, telling New York Times reporter Diane Ackerman that he proudly kept his citizenship papers in his locker next to his bottle of Chivas Regal.[9]

Arrest warrant

Chinaglia was named as one of nine people for whom arrest warrants had been issued on Friday 13 October 2006 following an extortion probe linked to shares in his former club Lazio.[10]

Followup to Arrest warrant

Authorities arrested seven suspects related to an illegal attempt to purchase the Lazio football club with laundered funds. The laundered funds are believed to be part of the activities of the Casalesi clan, a group of the Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate. Giorgio Chinaglia was not among those arrested and is believed to still be in hiding in the US dating back to the issuance of the original warrant.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Newsham, Gavin (2006). Once in a lifetime: the incredible story of the New York Cosmos. Open City Books. pp. 79–80. ISBN 0802142885.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f Reed, J.D. (May 21, 1979). "Look At Me! I Am Giorgio Chinaglia! I Beat You!". Sports Illustrated.  
  3. ^ Bevan, Nathan (July 27, 2008). "Football hero on Mafia rap". Wales On Sunday.  
  4. ^ "Past Players". Swansea City A.F.C.. 22 November 2007.,,10354~1171073,00.html.  
  5. ^ Thomas, Cyril D. (2000). Swansea Senior Football League, 1901-2001 - 100 Years of Local Soccer. Swansea Senior Football League. pp. 64–65. ISBN 0953203832.  
  6. ^ a b Risoli, Mario (May 2000). "Golden Great: Giorgio Chinaglia". Channel 4.  
  7. ^ Barber, Brian (2007-12-17). "Capello's goal".  
  8. ^ In the Studio at SIRIUS XM Stars
  9. ^ Lighting Up the Cosmos By DIANE ACKERMAN May 31, 1981 New York Times . Accessed via the New York Times web archive march 27, 2009
  10. ^ "Arrest warrant issued for Chinaglia, 8 others at Lazio" (in English). USA Today. 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2007-08-22.  
  11. ^ "Italian police arrest seven linked in mafia bid for Rome club Lazio" (in English). CNN/SI. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-22.  

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Paolo Pulici
Gianni Rivera
Giuseppe Savoldi
Serie A Top Scorer
Succeeded by
Paolo Pulici

Simple English

Giorgio Chinaglia
Personal information
Full name Giorgio Chinaglia
Date of birth 24 January 1947 (1947-01-24) (age 64)
Place of birth    Carrara, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
Swansea City
Internapoli Camaldoli
New York Cosmos
National team
1972-1975 Italy

Giorgio Chinaglia (born 24 January, 1947) is a former Italian football player. He has played for Italy's national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1965-66Swansea CityThird Division51
1966-67MasseseSerie C325
1967-68Internapoli CamaldoliSerie C3110
1969-70LazioSerie A2812
1971-72Serie B3421
1972-73Serie A3010
United StatesLeague
1976New York CosmosNASL1919
CountryEngland 51
Italy 307127
United States 213193
Total 525321

International career statistics

Italy national team



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address