Who is Astutillo Malgioglio, the former goalkeeper awarded by Mattarella

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Those who haunted the albums of soccer cards in the Eighties have not forgotten it. He wore a historic Inter shirt, had an unmistakable mustache and folded arms as was the custom for goalkeepers. He was Walter Zenga’s reserve in the 1989 scudetto team. Astutillo Malgioglio he not only played for the Nerazzurri, but also with Bologna, Brescia, Pistoiese, Rome, Lazio and Atalanta from 1976 to 1992. However, it is not for his sporting successes that the President of the Republic will award him on November 29th. He will become an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, with 32 other people, “for his constant and courageous commitment in favor of the assistance and integration of children with dystrophy”.

He is really one of those players who can be seen from the degregorian altruism the former goalkeeper who everyone calls Tito, from that Astutillo who was the name of an uncle. Quality that can be seen above all off the pitch, in his Piacenza. Here, in the 1977, he opened a gym, which he calls ERA 77, putting together his initials, those of his wife Raffaella and his daughter Elena. It is a gym for the psychomotor re-education of disabled children. He has no more funds and closes it in 1995, but continues to do business by going house to house to disabled children.

For years he did it before and after training, before and after matches. A practically unique case in the world of Italian football. He was targeted for his commitment by the fans by one of his teams, Lazio. On March 9, 1986, the episode that changes everything: the curve insults him for a goal taken, says that the “handicapped” distract him, he spits on the shirt. The club does not support him, although he admits the error, “instinctive reaction”, of the spit, the fans tell him to go back to his “monsters”: “Go play at Cottolengo”.

Trapattoni still gives him a few years of career as second in his Inter. Few colleagues understand this. Among these the German Jurgen Klinsmann. Al Corriere della Sera Malgioglio tells it this way. «After training I spent time with my boys. Klinsmann came one day and asked me where I was going. “Come and see”, I replied. That meeting changed his life, I’m happy for him: he became something more thanks to that experience. When he comes back to Italy he still calls me ».

“I did it because I felt it,” he said, “it was always God’s plan for me. I can’t judge others, it’s not fair. I am not part of the world, I am in the world that is ephemeral, is careful to look at everything that is not reality, without caring about what it is really worth, without gratuity and thinking of receiving something in return that then maybe lasts a day or a week . Here, however, it is all serenely true. I’ve always looked to others as a lifeline, I wanted to help those who have no voice, those who scream in pain: a loving assistance to the children, to whom I give everything I have ».

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