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    Remembering Carlo Galli: Club's beloved striker of the early 1950's

    Galli represented the Giallorossi between 1951 and 1956, scoring 55 goals in 125 games for the Giallorossi.

    Galli represented the Giallorossi between 1951 and 1956, scoring 55 goals in 125 games for the Giallorossi.

    Perhaps Carlo Galli was always destined to play for Roma. Born and raised in Montecatini, it was there that the young Galli was a witness as the legendary Giallorossi captain Attilio Ferraris collapsed to the ground and died of a heart attack. Four years later, Galli was signing for the club where Ferraris had achieved so much.

    By then a young striker, Galli had been signed by the recently-relegated Giallorossi on the recommendation of coach Gipo Viani, who had seen his exploits for Palermo. Viani himself had established something of a name for himself with his innovated 'Vianema' tactical setup while at Salernitana, but in Galli he found an all-action centre forward that enabled him to focus firmly on him.

    Galli scored a brace on his debut, both of them coming in the space of 16 minutes, and by October 1951 had earned the moniker Testina d'oro (broadly, 'Golden Head') after an innovative header against Treviso secured victory in the 93rd minute.

    Where everyone expected Galli to try and put as much power on Perissinotto's cross to get the ball beyond the goalkeeper, he instead delivered a lofted effort that looped over the stranded goalkeeper and nestled in the back of the net.

    It was one of the first examples of the player's knack for getting on the end of crosses in spectacular fashion - even if over time he generaly preferred to arrow his efforts towards the ground.

    "Jump off the right foot, catch it with the forehead, aim it back towards the ground. The lower the ball is the header it is for the goalkeeper to get it. That's how I became 'Golden Head'"

    - Carlo Galli

    With 12 goals during the 1951-52 season, Galli was the top goalscorer as the Giallorossi earned an immediate return to Serie A. The next season he did even better - 14 goals in 25 games - as the Giallorossi briefly led the standings.

    He delivered two braces that season, against Milan and Juventus, and then another the following campaign in the derby against Lazio.

    Further memorable goals came in the 1954-55 season as Roma beat both Inter and AC Milan; with those exploits earning him a call-up for the 1954 World Cup - where he would also score a goal.

    Not quite six-foot, Galli was not just strong in the air but capable of shooting well with either foot and more than once found the net in acrobatic fashion. Together, it was these attributes that made him so beloved by the Giallorossi fanbase.

    In 1956 he was sold to AC Milan, as Viani once again came calling for one of his most trusted officers. There he would famously score five goals in a single game against Lazio in 1958, but prior to that he earned an unusually fond farewell from the club's then-president, Renato Sacerdoti.

    "We need to continue with the sale of a player that I am profoundly attached to, beyond being his president," Sacerdoti said.

    "Galli, our Galli, we cannot forget you - in service to Roma he suffered two of the worst injuries that can happen to any player."

    All the club members present stood up and applauded Galli, who was left visibly moved by the scene.

    He never truly left the club, however, as he would go on to marry the daughter of the club doctor, Gaetano Zappalà.

    Games and Goals in Official Matches: 125 (55 gol)
    Derby Matches: 4
    Trophies Won: 1 Serie B title (1952)
    Club Debut: 9 September 1951, Roma 2-1 Fanfulla
    Last Match: 3 June 1956, Roma 1-2 Sampdoria

    "He's a player so good, so smart, polite and disciplined, that he really deserved to always stay with us."

    - Renato Sacerdoti