Sunday, January 24, 2016

24 January 1947 - The Start Of Giorgio's Journey

On 24 January 1947, Lazio and New York Cosmos star Giorgio Chinaglia was born in Carrara, Italy.

His family moved to Wales when he was 8, resulting in the striker starting his professional career in 1964 with Swansea Town. But after only six league appearances in two seasons, he moved back to Italy, where he spent three seasons in Serie C--one with Massese and two with Internapoli--before joining Lazio in 1969.

At Lazio, he became a dominating center forward, scoring 123 goals in seven seasons, including the matchwinner in a 1974 Rome derby. After the goal, he taunted the Roma supporters, a move that endeared him to Lazio's fans. That season, Lazio won their first-ever Scudetto.

In 1976, Chinaglia joined the New York Cosmos. Although other international stars preceded him to the US, he was the first to join the NASL while still in the prime of his career, as evidenced by his 242 goals in 254 matches. He was a six-time NASL all-star and was instrumental in delivering four of the team's five league titles.

He retired from playing when the Cosmos folded in 1985. A naturalized American, Chinaglia was inducted into the USA National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 65.

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