Mario Risoli

Arrivederci Swansea

Arrivederci Swansea

The Giorgio Chinaglia Story


As a young striker with Third Division club Swansea Town in the ’60s, Giorgio Chinaglia stole milk bottles from the doorsteps of local terraced houses because he couldn’t afford breakfast. Nine years later, as Lazio’s star centre-forward, Chinaglia owned apartments in Rome, a villa, a tennis club and a boat. With an annual salary of £85,000, this son of a Cardiff restaurateur was one of the world’s highest-paid footballers.

Arrivederci Swansea
is the remarkable rags to riches tale of one of football's original 'bad boys'. Chinaglia was given a free transfer by Swansea in 1966 because the coaching staff considered him too lazy and disliked his attitude. Chinaglia returned to his native Italy to rebuild his ailing career. He joined Roman side Lazio in 1969. There, in the awesome Olympic Stadium, Chinaglia became the idol of the Lazio tifosi. In 1974, he finished as Seria A top scorer with 24 goals and helped Lazio to their first league title. He also played for Italy in the 1974 World Cup and, on being substituted, caused outrage by making gestures at the Italian bench before storming off the pitch. After Lazio he played alongside Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer at New York Cosmos. After retiring from playing, Chinaglia became a football pundit on Italian television and radio until his death from a heart attack on 1 April 2012.

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