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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Ferruccio Mazzola

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Ferruccio Mazzola, brother of Sandro, played for Lazio from 1968 to 1974


Source Wikipedia

.He was a good player but suffered from two main problems: he was not only compared to his father, the great Valentino, probably one of the most talented players in the history of Italian football, but also to his brother Sandro, star of Inter. It cannot have been easy for him.


Born in Turin on February 1 1945, he started his youth career with Inter before being sent to gain experience in Serie C with Marzotto Valdagno in 1963. A year later, again on loan, he moved to Venice where he played for two years in Serie B. In the second year Venezia got promoted to Serie A and he was one of the most important players.


Inter took him back home in 1967 but in the winter transfer window sold him to Lecco. He was able to play just one match for the Nerazzurri with his brother Sandro before leaving.


In 1968 Lazio President Umberto Lenzini finally managed to bring Mazzola to Lazio and he repaid his debt by immediately taking Lazio back to Serie A. He will play another two more years for Lazio in Serie A before going to Fiorentina on loan in 1971-72. Back at Lazio the following year he only played one game. There was not a good feeling between him and Tommaso Maestrelli and despite being part of the squad and winning the scudetto, the manager never selected him to play.


In 1974 he was sold to Sant’Angelo Lodigiano in Serie C where he played until 1977. His last games as a professional took place in the USA with the Hartford Bicentennials.


After football he worked as a sports journalist and was owner of a betting shop. In 1981 he began his career as manager. He worked for many teams mainly in the lower divisions: Cynthia Genzano, Spal, Venezia, Perugia, Spezia, Siena, Alessandria, Modena and Aosta.


In 2004 he published his autobiography. This book, and an interview with the Italian weekly Espresso in 2005, caused a lot of controversy, but not quite enough.


In the book Mazzola stated that the Inter manager Helenio Herrera was doping his players. Helenio Herrera is the famous Inter manager who won the Italian scudetto three times, as well as the European Cup and Intercontinental Cup twice. According to Mazzola, Herrera used to drop amphetamines in the players’ coffee before the games. He then linked the use of the doping substances to the early deaths of players Armando Picchi, Marcello Giusti, Carlo Tagnin, Mauro Bicicli and Ferdinando Minussi.


Inter and his former teammates all denied the allegations and the club took him to court. Inter lost the case.


In the interview he also mentioned that at Fiorentina they used to have drips before matches. “If you refused, you did not play. A few of the players of that team, Bruno Beatrice, Ugo Ferrante and Nello Saltutti, all died very young. Others had cancer, like Mimmo Caso, Massimo Mattolini, De Sisti”.


Even Lazio was mentioned. “There they gave us Villescon, a drug that did not make us feel any fatigue”. What about other teams? “When Herrera moved to Roma he used the same methods he used at Inter. What did you think Taccola died of at 26 years of age at Cagliari in 1969?”


After these declarations nothing much happened. The attorney general of Florence opened a case on the death of Bruno Beatrice but in 2009 gave up due to the fact that it became statute barred. Nobody spoke. Most of the players that could have said something were still in football in some way or form, so the “omertà” took over.


From 2005 he was president of the Futursport International Association for the recovery of adolescents in social difficulty, and he worked with the Association of Doping Victims, founded by the wife of Bruno, Beatrice.


He died on May 7 2013 in Rome.


He played 119 games for Lazio (48 in Serie A, 37 in Serie B, 17 in Coppa Italia, 1 in UEFA Cup, 1 in Mitropa Cup, 2 in the Intercities Fairs Cup, 5 in the Anglo-Italia Cup and 8 in the Cup of the Alps) and scored 13 goals (4 in Serie A, 8 in Serie B one in Coppa Italia, Anglo-Italian Cup and the Cup of the Alps).


PS. After having denied for years to corroborate his brother’s accusations, Sandro Mazzola finally admitted in 2015 that his brother was right.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Mitropa Cup

Fairs Cup

Anglo Italian Cup

Cup of the Alps

​1968-69

40 (8)

-

37 (8)

3

-

-

-

1969-70

34 (3)

23 (2)

-

3

-

1

-

3 (1)

4

1970-71

32 (3)

24 (2)

-

2

-

-

2

4 (1)

1972-73

5

1

-

4

-

-

-

2

1973-74

6 (1)

-

-

5 (1)

1

-

-

Total

119 (15)

48

37

17

1

1

2

5 (1)

8 (1)

Source


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