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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Giovanni Molino

Giovanni Molino was born in Caresana (Vercelli-Piedmont), on April 3, 1931. His real name was Giancarlo but he was always known as Giovanni.

Giovanni Molino is second from left kneeling. Source Wikipedia

He started his career with nearby Casale, from Casale Monferrato. He played two seasons with the "Neri" (The Blacks) from 1948 to 1950. The Nerostellati were in Serie C and finished 5th and 8th. Molino played 66 league games.

In 1950 he joined Torino in Serie A. This was only a year after the tragic Superga air crash which had killed most of the "Grande Torino". Molino only played one league game under future Lazio manager Giuseppe Bigogno (with Roberto Copernico as T. D) and the Granata finished 17th.

The following year he returned to Casale on loan. He played 16 league games and the Blacks were relegated to Serie D.

In 1952 he was back at Torino. He played more regularly, getting 18 league games. Toro finished 10th under manager Oberdan Ussello (T.D was first Copernico and then, from October, future Lazio Jesse Carver).

In 1953-54 Ussello started but was replaced by Luigi Miconi in October (Carver also left for Annibale Frossi). The Granata finished 9th and Molino made 12 league appearances.

The 1954-55 season was his last in Turin. Frossi stayed on and Il Toro finished 9th again and Molino played 34 league games. He therefore finally became a first-choice defender. He also played alongside former Lazio forward Lelio Antoniotti.

In 1955 he moved to Rome and joined Lazio. The manager was Luigi Ferrero but he was replaced by Jesse Carver after 14 games. Lazio had an excellent season and came 3rd. The Biancocelesti won the return derby 1-0, beat Juventus 2-0 at home and Milan 3-1 away. Molino played 32 league games.

In 1956-57 Englishman Carver was still in his place and Lazio repeated themselves finishing 3rd again (these were the years before Arne Selmosson's "betrayal"). Lazio's best results were a 3-0 home thrashing of Milan and a 1-0 away win against Inter. Molino was a regular with 34 league appearances.

In 1957-58 Lazio had a new manager, Milovan Círić, he was replaced after 20 games by Alfredo Monza and then in June, for the Coppa Italia, Fulvio Bernardini arrived. In Serie A Lazio finished 12th and Molino again played 34 league games. The highlight was beating Roma 2-1 in March but the real historic event came in the period stretching from June to September. The Coppa Italia 1958 was played over the summer at the end of the Serie A season. In the group phase Lazio won 4 (Palermo 5-1, Napoli 3-1, 4-0 and Roma 3-2) and drew 2 (Palermo 2-2, Roma 1-1). In the quarter finals they beat Marzotto Valdagno 2-1 and in the semi-final Juventus 2-0. They then triumphed in the final in Rome on September 24, defeating Fiorentina 1-0 (Prini). Lazio lifted their first historic silverware.

In 1958-1959 Lazio were "Selmossonless " who had defected to Roma but Bernardini was still manager. Lazio finished 11th and Molino played less, 12 league games with his first goal (SPAL in 4-0 win). Lazio reached the quarterfinals of Coppa Italia but lost 0-1 to Inter.

In 1959-60 Lazio finished 12th under Bernardini. Molino made 26 league appearances. Lazio reached the semi-final of Coppa Italia but lost 0-3 to Juventus (Lazio then won the 3rd place final, Torino 2-1).

The 1960-61 season would be Molino's last with Lazio and it ended badly. Bernardini was replaced after ten matches by former player Enrique “El Flaco" Flamini (with Carver as T.D) but Lazio were unable to avoid relegation for the first time in their history. They however reached the Coppa Italia final but this time lost to Fiorentina, 0-2 in Florence. Molino played 26 league games.

With Lazio in Serie B (the Biancocelesti would be back in A two years later), Molino joined them but with Napoli. The Partenopei started with Fioravante Baldi as manager but he was soon replaced by Bruno Pesaola. Napoli were promoted but not without controversy (the Bruno Seghedoni goal/ no goal scored by Lazio, the referee claiming the ball had gone in through a hole in the net..). There was no doubt however about their first historic silverware when they surprisingly won the Coppa Italia beating SPAL 2-1. Molino made 30 league appearances and 2 in Coppa Italia (including final). He played alongside future Lazio Pierluigi Ronzon and future manager Gigi Simoni.

The 1962-63 season was not as positive. Napoli were relegated under Pesaola (and Lazio promoted ... Seghedoni was partially vindicated). Molino played 27 league games (he was suspended for 1 month for anti-doping test irregularities), 1 in Coppa Italia and made his debut in Europe, playing 8 games in the Cup Winners Cup (Napoli reached quarters, OFK Belgrade 0-2, 3-1 and then 1-3 in playoff in Marseille).

Molino then retired at the age of 32.

He then had a brief experience as manager. In 1963-64 he was assistant to Roberto Lerici at Napoli. When Lerici was sacked, after 24 games, Molino took over. In his tenure the Azzurri played 14 games with 4 wins, 6 draws and 4 defeats.

He then left football and followed one of his other passions, art. He became a collector of modern art and in 1965 opened two galleries in Rome, one in elegant Via del Babuino and the other in the artists' street, Via Margutta.

In 1992, following the premature death of his elder daughter, he sold the galleries and returned home to Caresana. In 2014 he opened another art gallery in Milan, with his other daughter.

Molino was a defender. He was a classy player with good technique but was also physically strong. He was at Lazio for six seasons and was a regular choice playing 169 games. He won a Coppa Italia in 1958, a feat he would repeat with Napoli in 1962.

Lazio Career


Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Italo-French Friendship Cup

















13 (1)

12 (1)














170 (1)






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