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Former Cosmos star Chinaglia dies at 65
In 1976, he joined the Cosmos and played alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. He played for Italy at the 1974 World Cup.
With the Cosmos, he played in a lineup that featured the finesse of Pele and the calculating play of Beckenbauer.
“I am a finisher. That means when I finish with the ball, it is in the back of the net,” he once said in 1978.
“Both myself and the entire city of Rome express profound condolences,” Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said in a statement. “For Lazio fans, Chinaglia was more than a symbol. He was a banner player that carried along an entire generation of fans and the emblem of the first title in 1974. And that’s how we remember him.
“We know that for years he was no longer a resident in Italy, but we’re available for the family for any type of initiative they want to organize to remember him,” Alemanno added.
Chinaglia was born in Tuscany, but his family soon moved to Wales, where he began his career with Swansea.
Chinaglia returned to Italy with the small Tuscan club Massese in 1966 and eventually joined Lazio in 1969, going on to score 98 goals in 209 matches for the Roman team. Italian fans nicknamed him Long John for his Welsh past.
In New York, Chinaglia became the leading scorer in the history of the North American Soccer League, with 262 goals in his eight seasons for the Cosmos.
He was Lazio president from 1983 to 1985.
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