14 Brilliant Retro Photos Of Giorgio Chinaglia RIP

Chris Wright

2nd, April 2012


By Chris Wright

Giorgio Chinaglia, one of the most idiosyncratic footballers of all time and a member of the New York Cosmos’ glittering late 1970s NASL line-up, was found dead at his house in Flordia yesterday morning after apparently suffering complications following heart surgery. He was 65.

He grew up in Wales, was told he’d never make it as a pro by Swansea Town, won the Scudetto with Lazio in 1974, was nicknamed ‘Long John’ for looking a bit like a pirate, found himself banned for eight months for attacking a referee with an umbrella, released a single called ‘(I’m) Football Crazy’, finished top goal-scorer in the NASL in 1976 and 1978, made Pele cry, insisted on always wearing a silk dressing gown in the dressing room, drove around New York with a pistol in his glove compartment, had warrants issued for his arrest due to extortion allegations, always referred to himself in the third person without fail and, legend has it, whispered his name every time he dribbled past an opponent.

In short, he was the Zlatan of his time – only slightly more self-involved…

Arsenal’s John Roberts goes flying in on Lazio’s Giorgio Chinaglia during an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup match between the two sides at Highbury, 1970

Good luck trying to work out which limbs belong to whom – Juventus’ Gaetano Scirea attempts to tackle Chinaglia during an Italian league game in Rome, 1974

The Italian national team line up in Rome, Chinaglia stares at the camera while a young Fabio Capello kneels in front, 1974

Pele welcomes Chinaglia to the Cosmos, 1976

Chinaglia and Pele celebrate in the dressing room, 1976

Chinaglia is sent flying by a well placed elbow from Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Radomir Stafanovic during their NASL Playoff Game at rain-soaked Giants Stadium, 1977

The Cosmos team line up – featuring Pele (10), Jomo Sono (22), Giorgio Chinaglia (9), Franz Beckenbauer (6) and Carlos Alberto (25) – before their SoccerBowl ’77 game with Seattle Sounders, 1977

Cosmos players Johan Cruyff, Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer during training for their Soccer Bowl match against Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1978

Chinaglia gives the victorious ‘No. 1’ sign during the Soccer Bowl in Washington, 1980

Chinaglia squeezes between two Fort Lauderdale Strikers defenders during Soccer Bowl ’80

Chinaglia gains control of the ball from Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ Ken Fogarty, 1980

Chinaglia lines up before New York Cosmos v NASL All Stars, 1980

Chinaglia is embraced by former Cosmos teammate Pele and current cohort Robert Iarusci after defeating the Seattle Sounders in the Soccer Bowl, 1982

RIP Bruno Chinaglia (1947-2012)

Photos: PA

Posted in Featured, MLS, Photos, Retro, Serie A, Videos

Share this article: Email


  1. Manolo Garnix says:

    And he was a brilliant musician:

    He won’t be forgotten for his contribution to Lazios first scudetto, the surprising win in 1974.

    Giorgio Chinaglia, il grido di battaglia!

  2. Murray says:

    I don’t think Cruyff was ever part of a Cosmos team.

  3. TheBelgianBrady says:

    @Murray: You’re right. Cruyff did have a contract agreement with Cosmos, and he played in a couple of exhibition games for them, but he joined LA Aztecs instead. Rumor has it Giorgio couldn’t stand having a bigger star on the team than Giorgio Chinaglia!

    Chinaglia was a brilliant striker, and a lovely guy. Will be sorely missed.

  4. RyanSSL says:

    Rest in Peace Giorgio! Thanks for everything you did for Lazio and for the sport in the USA! Forza Lazio!

  5. Solihull United says:

    rest in peace Giorgio. The only footballer who could score two goals in the first half, smoke a cigarette at halftime and score another in the second

  6. Davy says:

    How good were the Cosmos in the 70’s? Pretty good i imagine but I have no idea!!

  7. WildScotsman6 says:

    I know right Davy! Real Madrid of the 70s!

  8. John says:

    He was an asshole, full of crap. However, all winners are right, therefore he was right.

  9. sloth says:

    Pic 3, Italian national squad photo:

    Is that Pippo Inzaghi front right?!

  10. Ron says:

    Just heard about this. RIP Giorgio!

    I saw a documentary from MSG Network (U.S. t.v.) a few years ago & couldn’t believe Giorgio. Funny, crazy, wacky.

    I grew up with a Cosmos pennant tacked to the ceiling over my bed. My parents were big fans in the 1970s and went to games at Giants stadium. They lived just down the expressway.

  11. Javi says:

    I personally believe that Giorgio was the best goal scoring player ever to run on the pitch. Simply brilliant!! He did what he felt was in his and his team’s best interest in order to win and what I also respect about him was that he said what was on his mind no matter what everyone else thought around him. How many people have the ^%^$&^ to do that?
    He gave us so much entertainment over the years and I am happy to say that I was privileged to see him play in person many times and have photos from Tampa Stadium. R.I.P. Giorgio.

  12. Diego says:

    Right front of picture in the Italian squad was Giuseppe Wilson
    a full back. Pippo Inzaghi was probably in his diapers in 1973 or not even born!!!

  13. anthony says:

    RIP big man… love swansea

Leave a Reply