Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Carlo Mazzone, discoverer of Totti and coach of Guardiola, dies

Former Italian coach and soccer player Carlo Mazzone, discoverer of Francesco Totti and one of the most iconic figures in Italian soccer, passed away this Saturday at the age of 86.

Born in Rome (center) in 1937 and known as ‘Sor Carletto’ in Italy, the former coach leaves the record for appearances as Serie A coach for posterity with a total of 797 appearances.

A former footballer for Roma, SPAL, Siena and Ascoli, where he retired in 1969, Mazzone will always be remembered for his long career as a coach in which he led Ascoli himself, Fiorentina, Bologna, Cagliari, Roma, Naples and Brescia, among many others, until 2006, the year in which he moved away from the bench after a brief spell at Livorno.

Mazzone achieved two promotions in three years with Ascoli, a team that in 2018 named one of the stands after him, the same year that he entered the Italian Soccer Hall of Fame.

With ‘Fiore’ he raised an Italian-English League Cup in 1975, a promotion with Lecce to Serie A, an Intertoto with Bologna, where he also reached the UEFA Cup semifinals, and managed to return Cagliari to Europe 21 after his last participation.

He was coach for three seasons of his childhood team, a Roma in which he did not win any trophy, but in which he managed to win the lifelong affection of the Romanists by discovering and giving a leading role to the most important legend in its history , a young Francesco Totti who established his hand in the first team.

However, it was not the only discovery that the technician made. At Brescia, with Baggio as the main figure in attack, he delayed the figure of Andrea Pirlo to midfield, a move that undoubtedly affected the future of Italian football history.

In fact, also at Brescia, Mazzone met Pep Guardiola, with whom he immediately connected both in football and personally, to such an extent that Guardiola himself invited him in 2009 to watch the Champions League final for his Barcelona before at Manchester United.

A multitude of teams have lamented the death of the legendary Italian coach on social networks. Roma, Napoli, Bologna, Lecce, Fiorentina and Lazio have been among the first to express their condolences to the family.

In addition, another legend like Gianluigi Buffon showed his sadness on social networks.

“Carlo Mazzone is a football icon who has won my heart. The overwhelming passion he poured into the teams was truly unique and unrepeatable. As proof of his magnificent character, I have a fantastic anecdote of Parma-Brescia finishing 3-0” , commented the legendary goalkeeper, recently retired.

“With the score 1-0 and 15 minutes from the end I made a triple save that saved the result. At the end of the game he came across me and in the middle of thirty people he said to me ‘Buffon… but what have I done to you? Today You seemed to me like Lazzaro (goalkeeper)… The news of his death leaves a void that cannot be filled, but his impact will live forever”, sentenced the goal.


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