I was saddened to hear just moments ago that Giorgio Chinaglia, the great Cosmos and Lazio striker of the 1970s, died at his home in Florida today at the age of 65.
I was a huge New York Cosmos fan back in the 1970s and 1980s, and Chinaglia was brought over to the NASL in 1976 at the top of his game after he had worn out his welcome in Italy. He was born in Italy, raised in Wales, and was a great, but very temperamental and egotistical player. He even had a run-in with Pele, the greatest player of all-time.
His numbers in the NASL were extraordinary. He scored 242 goals in 254 games in all competitions. He was part of the Cosmos teams that won championships in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982. Chinaglia was the league MVP in 1981,retired in 1983 and was inducted into the USA Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000.
Chinaglia was loved by many, and detested by just as many. If you ever get the chance, check out the documentary, "Once In a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos." It's very entertaining, and Chinaglia's interviews are something to see. And especially those who talk about him.
And from that documentary, here is a clip where Giorgio joins the Cosmos:
Chinaglia was doing a soccer radio show on Sirius these days. He lived some life. Ciao, Giorgio. And thanks for the memories.