Kamikaze

Giorgio Ghezzi SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.62 / 110

Football, love, masculine rivalry and politics. When a life contains all of these ingredients, it becomes a story worth telling. Because of all this, Giorgio Ghezzi seemed like a character out of a novel. It all started in Emilia-Romagna in the 1950s, the ultimate left wing stronghold. Ghezzi was the son of Cesenatico’s communist mayor. In his later years, he’d be elected himself as an Italian Communist Party (PCI) representative. His first steps as a goalkeeper were his debut in Serie C at Rimini at the age of just 17 before two Serie B seasons with Modena. The big leap forward came when Inter called.

He spent seven seasons with the Nerazzurri, winning the Scudetto twice (1953 and 1954) and he earned a place in the national team for the unfortunate World Cup campaign of 1954. He was a brave goalkeeper, extremely strong when coming off his line and this led to him earning the nickname of ‘Kamikaze’. In those years, there was another great goalkeeper defending Milan’s goal on the other side of the Naviglio: Lorenzo Buffon. They were rivals in everything. Both competed for the Italy shirt and the heart of Edy Campagnoli who was on the TV show Lascia e Raddoppia. She had a romantic history with Ghezzi but then later married Buffon. The two then swapped clubs. Ghezzi went to Milan and Buffon to Inter.

The ideal goalkeeper must be an athlete, a gymnast almost. He needs to know how to jump far and high and contort his body. The ball then comes later and it all comes easily.

But, rather than for gossip, he’s remembered by Nerazzurri fans for his dramatic runs off his line and being the ‘Kamikaze’ as he was labelled by the press of the time. Because of this, his heir was not the steady Zoff but rather the spectacular Castellini. After his retirement, he returned home to Romagna and opened a hotel near the sea. He called it Internazionale. For someone who’d played for Inter and been active in the PCI, there was almost no other option.

Giorgio Ghezzi

Giorgio Ghezzi was born in 1930 in Cesenatico. After playing with Rimini and Modena, he made his Serie A debut in 1951 with Inter. In seven years with the Nerazzurri, he played in 186 matches and won the Scudetto twice. After a year at Genoa, he returned to the city with Milan where he won the European Cup in 1963. He also made six Italy appearances. He died in 1990 after a heart attack.