The Soccer World Mourns The Loss Of Giorgio Chinaglia
"I want to send my love and respect to Chinaglia's family and the New York Cosmos family."
--Carlos Alberto Torres
“I am very saddened to learn of Giorgio’s passing. He was a great footballer and had a huge impact on US Soccer. He played with passion for the New York Cosmos back then and that passion for the game was illustrated through his role as ambassador at the New York Cosmos organization.”
"Good by Giorgio. We had great time in this life! Will see you soon! We will have great time again! Your friend in eternity."
As the news of Giorgio Chinaglia's passing was first reported on Sunday, the soccer world was left in a state of shock. Chinaglia was a unique figure in the sport and left a huge impression on American soccer. The New York Cosmos are overwhelmed by the outpouring of emotion at Giorgio's passing. As a tribute to the Cosmos' greatest ever player we have collected some of the stories and memories that have been shared since Giorgio's death. If you have any stories or memories that you would like to add here please email us at email@example.com.
In an article simply titled, "Ciao Giorgio," longtime Cosmos beat writer, David Hirshey, lovingly recounts the stories and qualities that made Giorgio such a legend in American Soccer history.
Michael Lewis, Hirshey's colleague on the New York City soccer beat, said his goodbye to Giorgio by calling the legendary striker "One of a kind".
Former Cosmos employee and current editor of bigapplesoccer.com, Charles Cuttone, compared Chinaglia to another New York City sports hero from the 1970's, Reggie Jackson. Cuttone writes that Chinaglia was the real straw that stirred the drink.
In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick, reminisces on his days covering the Cosmos and Chinaglia. Mushnick says that he "cherished George because he told the truth."
Sean Hartnett, columnist at CBS New York, calls Giorgio the flamboyant rock star striker who owned New York.
As a young sports writer, Frank Giase at the Star-Ledger, met Giorgio Chinaglia in a moment he fondly remembers "meant a great deal to me".
At mlssoccer.com, Greg Lalas writes: "Chinaglia reminds us all that soccer has a history in the US."
Although he missed seeing Giorgio during his playing days, Dave Martinez of Empire of Soccer explores Giorgio's impact on soccer in America. Martinez says that "you can't talk Cosmos without talking Giorgio first."
Writing on thisiscosmoscountry.com, Cesar Diaz simply states that "Giorgio Chinaglia is one of the reasons that I love American soccer."
After his playing days, Giorgio Chinaglia spent most of his career in broadcasting. Since 2006, he hosted a radio show on Sirius XM with his partner, Charlie Stilitano, entitled The Football Show. Sirius XM remembered their long time host in a series of interviews with soccer legends about the Italian striker. Icons of the sport like Fabio Capello, Roberto Bettega and Sir Alex Ferguson shared their memories of Chinaglia. Fellow Cosmos legend and teammate Vlad Bogicevic recalled Chinaglia as one of his best friends. Current soccer managers, Bob Bradley, Roberto Di Matteo, Brendan Rogers and commentators Eric Wynalda and Gabrielle Marcotti, also discussed Giorgio's passing.
On a lighter note, KickTV shared some unforgettable moments from Giorgio's career. KCKRS collected some videos chronicling his career. WAATP highlighted some brilliant photos of the striker. Portland soccer historian, Michael Orr, noted that Chinaglia is still the record goal scorer against the Timbers.
As the news of Giorgio Chinaglia's passing spread, fans, journalists, and soccer players took to social media to talk about the unforgettable striker. Cosmos fans traded stories, pictures, videos and memories on the New York Cosmos facebook page and on twitter. Here is a selection of the tweets about the one and only Giorgio Chinaglia:
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) April 1, 2012
Sad news about passing of Giorgio Chinaglia.One of the first real pro soccer stars in US.
— Don Garber (@thesoccerdon) April 2, 2012
Giorgio Chinaglia RIP. Soccer legend, phenomenal colleague, irreplaceable character. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) April 1, 2012
Sad, sad soccer news: Cosmos soccer great Giorgio Chinaglia has died. His SI cover in 1979: bit.ly/He0kid
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 1, 2012
1979 SI cover story: "Look At Me! I am Giorgio Chinaglia! I Beat You!" bit.ly/HI8Aua RIP Giorgio
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) April 1, 2012
Had the privilege of knowing and working with Giorgio Chinaglia. Several lifetimes packed into one extraordinary man.
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) April 1, 2012
Saddened by the news of Giorgio Chinaglia's death. I hope his contribution to US soccer in particular is not soon forgotten.
— Charlie Anderson (@CAndersonFtbl) April 1, 2012
Giorgio Chinaglia died this morning in Florida. Great man , great friend. He has a place in History of Football! RIP Giorgio
— Umberto Gandini (@UmbertoGandini) April 1, 2012
RIP, Giorgio Chinaglia. We've lost a true giant of the game at age 65. The NASL's answer to Reggie Jackson in the NY Cosmos' heyday
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) April 1, 2012
— Jeff Bradley (@JerseyJBradley) April 2, 2012
R.I.P. Giorgio Chinaglia one of the greats for @TheNYCosmos
— Chris Poore (@ChrisPooreSID) April 2, 2012
As American Soccer fans we owe gratitude & thanks to Pele, Franz & Giorgio for putting American Soccer on the world's radar w/ @TheNYCosmos
— Michael Dovellos (@MKDovellos) April 1, 2012
— Cole Anton (@Coleanton) April 2, 2012
— Cesar Diaz (@CesarDiazNYC) April 1, 2012
— Borough Boys(@Borough_Boys) April 1, 2012