“Captain, you're all of us!”
After beginning his footballing journey with Virtus and finding his feet as a youth player with Soncinese, Giacomo Losi was bought by Cremonese for 500,000 lire in 1952.
With Losi in their ranks, Cremonese came within a whisker of securing promotion to Serie C, alerting a host of clubs to their talented centre-back.
Inter took him on loan to have a look at him in two youth tournaments, whilst Bologna also entered into negotiations to secure him on a permanent signing. Yet it was Roma who won through, sending sporting director Giorgio Carpi to seal the deal for 7 million lire (Losi himself received a signing-on fee of 800,000 lire and a monthly salary of 80,000).
But the story that best sums up what he meant to Roma was as follows: On 25 April, 1961, Losi was in Bologna to play for Italy against Northern Ireland. Giacomo was tasked with marking Peter McParland, contributing to a 3-2 win for the Azzurri. The next day, the Giallorossi were facing Hibernian in the second leg of their Inter Cities Fairs Cup semi-final match. On his return to the capital, Losi dropped into the team hotel to wish his team-mates good luck for the match. Unexpectedly, Roma coach Alfredo Foni asked him to play. And play he did, pulling off a goal-line clearance to deny Hibernian a final berth.
Indeed, aside from his technical ability, it was Losi’s loyalty to Roma that earned him the nickname ‘Heart of Rome’. In the spring of 1962, while training with the Italian national side, Inter sporting director Italo Allodi said to him: “I don’t care how much you earn, we’ll give you three times as much. Name your price.”
Yet Losi decided to stay at Roma, forging an indelible bond between his name and the Giallorossi colours and sealing his status as one of the club’s eternal legends.
“I would simply like to thank the club for this marvellous new Hall of Fame. History should never be forgotten. The players that have brought success to Roma must be remembered. This is all absolutely fantastic.”