Monday April 16 2012
Addio Morosini

Perhaps unknown to the wider world of football, Piermario Morosini’s life will still be remembered for more than how it ended. Rob Paton writes.

Just after five o’clock on Saturday afternoon, a gathering crowd of reporters armed with dictaphones and notepads were being pushed out of the emergency room at Pescara’s Santi Spirito hospital. Whilst out of reach, they still had a sense of what was happening. Screams and anguished cries could be heard as security struggled to keep the reporters out – Livorno’s players had just been told that their colleague, teammate and friend Piermario Morosini had died.

That footage of this horrific episode was on La Repubblica’s website within minutes of occurrence, sitting alongside countless videos and images of his earlier on-pitch collapse and the medical staff’s unsuccessful attempts to revive him at the Stadio Adriatico. It felt invasive and insensitive to a significant and immediate moment of tragedy and grief. At the same time, though, this pure human reaction to the 25-year-old’s lost battle with a suspected heart attack – rumoured to be induced by an aneurysm after an accidental clash of heads with an opponent – perhaps said as much about Morosini’s standing in the game as any of the obituaries and tributes from people in the sport that have since followed.

Beyond his tragic family history and that to many outside of Italy he will most likely be remembered only for this end to his life, he was loved by everyone that had known him, simply for the person that he was. From pictures on his Twitter account to stories of how he was in training and the dressing room, Morosini was a man who read life for its people and its opportunity, not for its fate that had tested him previous.

“He had been in teams all over Italy, but he always came back to us to help organise a summer training camp for the kids and to participate in the football tournaments,” remembers local Bergamo priest Remo Luiselli. “I recall the many tragedies of his life, but he remained a young man open and available to all.” Native to the Lombardy town, Morosini still had a house in Bergamo – just a 10-minute walk from Atalanta’s ground – and had managed to stay close to his local church and its community, even as his career took him on to Udinese in 2005, where he befriended the likes of Antonio Di Natale.

“I lost my mother four years ago and he, who had already lost his, and I were very close,” reflected the Zebrette captain on Sky Italia. Morosini spent seven years of his career with the Udine outfit and even if predominantly out on loan at a different club every season, he has seemingly left an impression for his personality and professionalism. “For me, he was like a brother. He had a love for life, for himself, for his family that hadn’t the most and for his sister.”

Di Natale’s assertion of this close relationship with the footballer is matched with similar and countless declarations from players throughout the peninsula, who at one stage or another encountered the much-travelled Morosini. The prospective deep-lying midfielder, who Delio Rossi remembers as ‘a great guy and a good player with good tactical ideas’ from their time together at Atalanta, made his Serie A debut for Udinese in October 2005, before going on to have loan spells away with Bologna, Vicenza, Reggina and Padova before ending up at Livorno this January. The player also represented Italy through the various youth levels up to and including the Under-21s, for who he was a squad member at the European Championships of 2009.

Such sporadic movement during his club career is perhaps one reason why Morosini hadn’t become the latest Atalanta youth product to break into Serie A quite as midfield primavera teammate Riccardo Montolivo had. However, his ability to have made the most of every opportunity to make a new friend in the sport is such that, whilst the game of calcio may not have lost one of its headline-makers on April 14, 2012, such was Morosini’s impact on the many that met him, it has lost someone it will never forget.

Have your say...
RIP Morosini....
on the 17th April, 2012 at 2:34pm
Such a shame, R.I.P Piermario
on the 17th April, 2012 at 10:34am
on the 17th April, 2012 at 6:59am
R.I.P. from toronto and ac milan
on the 17th April, 2012 at 3:40am
Grazie, Piermario, for both your example on and off the pitch. RIP.
on the 17th April, 2012 at 1:31am
What a moving account. Event though I never knew him, he seemed to be amazing person. Now he will be doing the same in heaven.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 11:28pm
What a moving account on a wonderful person. I never knew him, but reading this felt part of me did.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 11:24pm
Certainly a terrible tragedy, Mr. Morosini, by many accounts, was a tremendous young man and he will be sorely missed by those who knew him. May he rest in peace and may the Lord look after him and his family.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 11:13pm
RIP Piermario.. I hope you are in heaven with your family and hope you find true happiness.. My prayers go to your sister..
on the 16th April, 2012 at 9:39pm
R.I.P Morosini.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 9:02pm
Such a tragic end to a young lad's life who'd been through life's up and downs.. May he Rest In Perfect Peace.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 7:03pm
R.I.P. Piermario from Scotland and Rangers F.C.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 6:39pm
RIP... God has an angel by his side
on the 16th April, 2012 at 5:21pm
rumoured to be induced by an aneurysm after an accidental clash of heads with an opponent
Elaborate on it please
on the 16th April, 2012 at 5:09pm
For someone who's been through so much and for it to end this way just wasn't fair. RIP Morosini
on the 16th April, 2012 at 3:48pm
Ciao Moro and thank you. Another precious flower has become extinct.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 1:45pm
R.I.P Piermario Morosini.
on the 16th April, 2012 at 1:41pm

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