Serie A Blog: The life and death of Piermario Morosini - a tale of constant tragedy
Livorno retire the #25 forever to honour the memory of Piermario Morosini, whose young life seemed to be stalked by death having already lost his mother, father and his only brother.
In the 31st minute of the match between Pescara and Livorno last Saturday, Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini dropped to the ground and lost consciousness. Despite the assistance of the emergency services and a race to hospital, Piermario didn't make it. Dead at 25.
Leonardo Palaoscia, head of cardiology at the Santo Spirito hospital in Pescara where the game was being played, explained: “His heart wouldn't start again.”
Born in Bergamo in July 1986, Piermario Morosini showed much promise from an early age. At club level, he came through the Atalanta youth set-up and shone in their Primavera (U-20 ) side which lost the 2005 Primavera championship final against Rome. He made his international debut for the Italian U-17 side in September 2001 when he was only 15 years old and the young midfielder progressed to the U-21 national side where he made his debut in 2006.
With his career about to take off, this should have been a time of joy for the young midfielder but death was already a familiar visitor to the Morosini family. His mother, Camilla, died in 2001, when he was only 15 and this sad loss was followed by that of his father Aldo only two years later. As if this was not enough tragedy for one so young, he was then to lose his only brother, who was disabled, and who committed suicide following the death of his parents.
His sole surviving family member, an elder sister who is also disabled, had since relied on Morosini for financial and emotional support.
“These are things that shape your life, but at the same time they make you feel so angry that when you go on the pitch you want to do everything you can to achieve what you know was your parents' dream”.
So said Morosini when speaking about his life and the loss of loved ones and the young midfielder was true to his word, doing everything he could to achieve as much as possible.
Following his 2005 displays with Atalanta, Udinese expressed an interest and bought a half share in the player. He made his debut in Serie A against Inter and played five times for the Bianconeri. In the 2006-07 season, Udinese sent him to learn his trade in Serie B with Bologna while they also bought out the other half of his registration.
In 2007 he was sent to play for Vicenza, where he played until 2009. His fine showings there meant a call-up for the Italian Under 21 side in 2006 where he played 18 matches including the European Championships in Sweden in 2009.
“Every coach would have wanted a player like Piermario. He was a modest player and a good example to his teammates,” Pierluigi Casiraghi said recounting his memories as coach of the Italy Under 21 squad.
“I had him for two years in the national squad. He played in the 2009 European Championships in Sweden and featured in the semi-final. He was a calm, peaceful lad, and at 20 years old he was already mature for someone his age, especially considering everything that had happened to him.
“He never let his family tragedies weigh heavily on him, and he was always smiling. I’ll always remember his smile. On the pitch he was a tidy midfielder, mirroring his character, and the type that knew how to do everything. He was also a team player off the pitch, and wasn’t the type to live excessively. He enjoyed his work and was very professional. He was maybe like that because he knew that he had to support the rest of his family.”
With Piermario now unable to provide that family support any longer, his parent club Udinese moved quickly to offer whatever they could to fill the void left by his loss with Antonio di Natale saying that the Serie A side will provide lifelong financial aid to Piermario's sister.
“We know the situation of his sister and we as a team, the club, and Udinese for Life [a medical charity linked to the club] have decided to help her because she is in real need,” Di Natale told the club's TV channel.
“It is essential that we stay at the side of Piermario's sister for her entire life. She needs us and we want to help, both for her and for Mario.”
Meanwhile, Livorno have announced that the number 25 shirt will be retired following the tragic death of Morosini.
A statement from Livorno today read: “AS Livorno Calcio announces that the '25' will be retired forever from our official numbering to honour the memory of Piermario Morosini.”
An initial post-mortem examination was carried out in Pescara to ascertain whether Morosini's cause of death was brain or heart related but the results of this autopsy were inconclusive.
“There is no macroscopic evidence that allows us to determine his death,” coroner Cristian D'Ovidio said in quotes reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Further tests are needed, even of toxicological nature”
An inquiry into Morosini's death has also been opened after a parked car belonging to traffic police had initially blocked the ambulance's path into the stadium and its window had to be broken so the car could be moved.
Luigi Albore Mascia, mayor of Pescara, admitted that he was taking the issue seriously.
“There has been an admission of responsibility from the traffic policeman that on Saturday parked his car in the stadium, thus blocking for a few minutes the entrance of the ambulance to the pitch,” he said to Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It is a superficial and unforgettable act that is serious.
“But, if the medical assistance was considered timely as I believe it was, then it is wrong to place direct responsibility on the traffic policeman regarding the death of the unfortunate player.”
Morosini's funeral is expected to take place in his home city of Bergamo on Thursday.
As all Serie A matches were cancelled last weekend following news of the tragedy, last weekend's Serie A programme will now be played on April 24 and 25, the Italian Football League confirmed on Monday.
The news means that this weekend's programme will go ahead as planned.
Saturday, April 21
Chievo v Udinese
Parma v Cagliari
Napoli v Novara (Live Setanta Ireland 19.45pm)
Catania v Atalanta
Sunday, April 22
Fiorentina v Inter
Cesena v Palermo
Genoa v Siena
Lazio v Lecce
Milan v Bologna
Juventus v Roma (Live Setanta Ireland 19.45pm)
Tuesday, April 24
Atalanta v Chievo
Cagliari v Catania
Wednesday, April 25
Novara v Lazio
Lecce v Napoli
Palermo v Parma
Roma v Fiorentina
Siena v Bologna
Udinese v Inter
Cesena v Juventus
Milan v Genoa