Amedeo Amadei’s Giallorossi legend began on 11 April, 1937, when coach Luigi Barbesino played him in a friendly match against Cagliari. From that moment on, Barbesino would give the youngster the chance to impress whenever he could, culminating in his Serie A debut on 2 May 1937 against Fiorentina.
Amadei was just 15 years, nine months and seven days old when he took up his position on the right-wing, becoming the youngest player ever to play in Serie A. It’s a record that still stands to this day.
Quite simply, Amadei was a footballing genius. And like all geniuses, he needed to be inspired. When he was – and he almost always was – he became practically unstoppable.
Take the Coppa Italia final of 1941, for example. Between the 14th and 19th minutes, Il Fornaretto scored three times to stun a Venezia side featuring the likes of Valentino Mazzola and Ezio Loik. The first was a sliding finish, the second a volleyed effort from a Naim Krieziu assist, the third an unstoppable strike from just inside the box. The Venezia defence had no reply.
Amadei’s best attributes were his fearsome pace - his favourite trick was to knock the ball past an opponent on one side and sprint round the other to meet it - and a thunderous shot. Remarkably, his right boot had to be reinforced to protect it from the force of impact, but even so his left boot always had a notably longer lifespan than his right.
With the Scudetto win of 1942, Amadei became the symbol of Roma as he inherited the captain’s armband from Guido Masetti. And despite his moves to Inter and subsequently Napoli, the bond between the striker and Roma was never weakened.
Testament to this is an episode relating to the Rome derby of 17 October 1948. ‘Il Fornaretto’, as he was known, was already a Nerazzurri player by that point (and had played against AC Milan the previous day), yet made the trip to the Stadio Flaminio to watch the match nonetheless. A few minutes into the match, the referee awarded the Giallorossi a free-kick on the edge of the area, prompting a chant to spring up around the stadium: “Amadei!! Amadei!!”
Renato Sacerdoti tried to bring him back to the club in the early 1950s, but without success. Yet Amadei remained a Giallorossi icon for the rest of his days.
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