In great hands

Dellacasa family SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.106 / 110

A family within a family, in a story that’s over 70 years old. The relationship between the Dellacasa family and Inter is difficult to explain. When you speak about the masseurs in the Nerazzurri set-up, you cannot avoid speaking about them as they’ve been a dynasty intertwined with the history of Inter. The first was Bartolomeo who was known as ‘El Tumela’. It was 1945 and this young masseuse had a background in amateur boxing and as a croupier at the casino in Sanremo. Once, he met an Inter director by chance in Stresa, without realising the impact that it would have on him or his offspring for over 70 years. Following on from him (born in 1908, the same year as Inter’s foundation), it would be the turn of his son Giancarlo and then his grandsons Massimo and Marco in a story that continues to this day.

Only the able hands of the Dellacasa family have passed over the players who have made Inter history. From Meazza, Facchetti and Zenga, to Zanetti and Icardi. Those who made their mark built up strong relationships with the Dellacasas, who have special memories of all. While Rummenigge was the one who had the physique and strength that impressed Giancarlo the most, Massimo cites the strength of Ibrahimovic. But, nobody forgets that terrible night on 12th April 2000 for Ronaldo. “It was the most horrible day of my career,” said Massimo. “When he fell to the floor, an icy silence fell over the Stadio Olimpico and we all felt responsible.”

In my time, everyone was closer. In the technical staff there was the Coach, the Doctor, the Accompanying Director and yours truly. We spent over 200 days together a year on the retreats.

Relationships with the Coaches are a separate chapter in this story. There was the difficult one between Helenio Herrera and Giancarlo who prepared extra sandwiches for the players left hungry by the ‘Wizard’s’ strict diet . On the other hand, there was a special one between Marco and José Mourinho who was precise and strong with what he wanted but always with a sense of irony even during the most difficult times. In over 70 years of history, there have been those who tried to drag Giancarlo away from the Nerazzurri colours. In 1970, Juventus made an offer for the masseuse as he explains: “Picchi had become the Bianconeri’s Coach and he suggested to me that I go to Turin. I thanked him for it but I couldn’t accept. What would El Tumela have thought of a son with the Bianconeri?”

Dellacasa family

For 72 years, the muscles of all the great players at Inter have been cared to by the hands of the Dellacasa family of Sanremo. Bartolomeo joined the Inter staff in 1945 and he was followed by his son Giancarlo and then grandsons Massimo and Marco. Giancarlo Dellacasa also worked for the Italian National Team with Enzo Bearzot at the World Cup in Spain.