Saying Goodbye to Piermario Morosini

19 Apr

The sad and painful process of saying goodbye to young Piermario Morosini has been underway in Italy for several days.

On Tuesday, his body was brought to Armando Picchi stadium in order to allow Livorno fans to pay their respects.  Makeshift memorials were set up all around the stadium.

The hearse drove his coffin through the stadium past players, staff and supporters.

Doctors did a six hour autopsy which proved inconclusive. At this time, they’re ruling out cardiac arrest and aneurysm but further tests will be done. Livorno will be retiring his number 25 shirt. (The family asked that the media please stop showing photos and videos of his collapse out of respect. They shouldn’t even need to ask. I’m appalled at what some of the ghouls out there have posted.)

From Livorno, Piermario’s body was taken home to Bergamo for burial. The funeral happened today.

As with Livorno, makeshift memorials sprang up outside the church and fans waited to pay their respects. The church held 600 mourners while thousands more watched outside on screens. Afterward, his coffin was carried through the streets, allowing people one more chance to say goodbye.

From Sports Illustrated

Thousands pay respects at Morosini’s funeral

BERGAMO, Italy (AP) -Thousands of fans filled the streets of Bergamo to on Thursday for the funeral of Piermario Morosini, an Italian footballer who collapsed and died during a Livorno match last weekend.

About 600 people packed into the Church of San Gregorio Barbarigo for the service, while thousands watched on big screens outside.

Morosini’s coffin was draped in his Livorno shirt as well as an Atalanta top bearing his name and the No. 8. Adorned with wreaths and flowers, it was also covered by several football scarves. Next to the coffin had been placed boots and footballs.

“Mario is really in our hearts. I’m not scared and I am here not only for Mario but with Mario,” Father Luciano Manenti said at the start of the service.

Morosini, a 25-year-old midfielder who was on loan from Udinese, started out in Atalanta’s youth team. The entire Atalanta squad was present at the funeral, as well as Udinese players and numerous former teammates, including an emotional Sulley Muntari.

Sulley Muntari

Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli

Sebastian Giovinco (Seriously? You couldn't wear a frigging suit?!)

Various representatives of other teams and Italian football also attended the service, including Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete and national team coach Cesare Prandelli.

“Faced with this tragedy, football has to ask itself questions,” Prandelli said. “Sports medicine and prevention in Italy are cutting-edge but it can improve.

“Piermario has done the miracle of uniting all the banners which normally in every football game are one against the other. He taught us that you can face life’s difficulties with a smile on your face always.”

Morosini’s long-term girlfriend Anna Vavassori and her family also attended the funeral, which was broadcast live on various Italian TV stations.

“We have lost a son and a brother,” Vavassori’s mother, Mariella, said. “The pain is great but we know that you don’t want us to be sad but to smile, with that smile that always lit up your face.

“Goodbye Mario, we thank you for your presence in our life. You taught us so much, you made our hearts more true and loyal, free like you were. I thank you for giving so much love to our Anna.”

Another of the chief mourners was Morosini’s elderly aunt and his elder sister Maria Carla, two of his few remaining family members. Morosini’s mother died when he was 15 and his father died two years later. His brother died shortly afterward, too.

Udinese has set up a fund for Maria Carla, who is disabled and relied on her brother for financial support.

Morosini’s coffin was carried out at the end of the service to lengthy applause and chants of his name, while several fans also lit flares.

What I think was so touching was how people all over the world took this young man into their hearts. Club sides big and small took a moment this weekend to give tribute. Here are a few snaps:

Italy: Aironi Rugby and Llanelli Scarlets

Manchester United and Aston Villa

Chelsea

Tottenham

Malaga and Real Sociedad

Espanyol and Valencia

Real Madrid & Sporting Gijon

Toronto and Chivas USA

Even people who don’t follow footy seemed to know all about him and what happened. When I walked into the office on Monday, so many people asked me questions about it. His poignant story just made such an impact on people.

Rest in peace, Piermario. May your memory be a blessing and comfort to those who loved you.

– Lozil

7 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Piermario Morosini”

  1. notoriousjk April 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    oh gosh, this is so touching. I had friends on my facebook who only care about soccer during the World Cup, posting stories about him & his story. This post made me cry.

    • headbandsandheartbreak April 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      Putting it together made me cry as well.

      • jellyace April 20, 2012 at 11:47 am #

        Made me weepy as well. Such touching scenes from all over the world.

  2. Maddi April 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    I visited his Twitter account (@mariomorosini) and even though I don’t speak Italian I could tell that he was a really happy, affable guy who was beloved by his friends and in love with his girlfriend. Seeing pictures of him on vacation, grinning at the camera and just being silly breaks my heart. RIP Piermario.

    • headbandsandheartbreak April 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

      Oh man, I just looked at the pictures now as well. He just looks like he loved life – even after all the heartache he had been through. Makes it hurt even more. Just so fucking sad.

  3. black widow April 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    as i said on another post … sometimes life is very, very cruel. 😦

    reading this brought tears to my eyes, though it is comforting to see the outpouring of love for him from so many people. it’s so strange that this and fabrice muamba’s collapse could happen so close together and with such diametrically opposite outcomes. RIP piermarco, and may love and light guide you home.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pure Class: Shakhtar Donetsk Pays The Late Maicon’s Family His Full Contract Amount | Of Headbands and Heartbreak... - February 17, 2014

    […] This reminds me of when Udinese set up a fund in 2012 to support the severely disabled sister of the late Piermario Morosini and his teammate Antonio Di Natale became her legal […]

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