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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Gustavo Abel Dezotti

Gustavo Dezotti was born in Monte Buey, Argentina, on 14 February, 1964.

Source Wikipedia

He started his career in native Argentina with Newell's Old Boys from Rosario. He made his debut for the "Rojinegro" in 1982 and went on to play 195 league games with 37 goals. In his last season, 1987-88, "La Lepra" (Leprosy) won the title. Their strange nickname derives from a charity match they organized in the 1920's to raise money for a leprosy clinic. They have a history of producing good players; Leo Messi, Gabriel Batistuta, Jorge Valdano, Abel Balbo, Nestor Sensini, Walter Samuel, Americo Gallego, Maurizio Pochettino to name a few).

In 1989 Dezotti left for Europe and joined Lazio in Serie A. The Biancocelesti were newly promoted after three years in Serie B. The manager was Giuseppe Materazzi and it was not an easy year. Lazio had difficulty scoring goals, only 23 all season in the league and seemed addicted to draws, 19. Dezotti scored 3 League goals in 29 games (Como, Inter, Sampdoria) and 6 in Coppa Italia (Pescara, Campobasso, Messina x2, Fiorentina, Inter) in 9 games.

Dezotti was not a great success in Rome. He was quick (he was nicknamed "El Galgo", the greyhound, in Argentina) but not particularly technical or a natural goal scorer. At Lazio he was often moved to the wing to use his speed. He was sometimes a bit of a scapegoat for the fans after bad results. He did however score a vital goal in Lazio’s history, a 1-0 winner against Sampdoria which practically enabled the Biancocelesti to stay up in 1989.

After only one year he moved up north to newly promoted Cremonese. The "Grigiorossi" under Tarcisio Burgnich (Italy and Inter legend as a player) were relegated with 17th place. Dezotti however had a good season and scored 15 goals (13 in league) in 30 appearances. He scored against Lazio home and away.

The following year the "Tigri" were promoted with 3rd place under first Burgnich and then Gustavo Giagnoni. Dezotti made a good contribution with 11 league goals.

Back in Serie A, Cremonese were relegated again with a 17th place finish. Dezotti was their top scorer with 9 league goals (Lazio again home and away ...) in 30 appearances.

In 1992-93 the "Violini" again won promotion under Gigi Simoni with 2nd place. They also won the Anglo-Italian Cup (3-1 Derby County). Dezotti scored another 12 league goals and 1 in the Anglo- Italian.

In 1993-94 Cremonese finally managed to survive in Serie A. "La Cremo" finished 10th under Gigi Simoni. Dezotti scored 6 league goals (including Roma in a 2-1 Cremonese win). Dezotti played 154 league games in Cremona with 51 league goals (54 in total). In the Lombard town he was and still is a bit of a cult hero.

In 1994-95 he left Italy and Europe and went to Mexico. He joined León in the Mexican top league. He stayed two seasons with " Los Esmeraldas" (The Emeralds), playing 54 games with 17 goals.

In 1996 he left the "Panzaverdes" but stayed in Mexico and joined Atlas de Guadalajara. He stayed one season with "Zorro" playing 22 games with 1 goal.

In 1997 he returned to his homeland of Argentina. He joined Quilmes but never played for "El Cervecero" (The Brewer) and in 1998 moved across the Río de la Plata to Uruguay. He signed for Defensor Sporting from Montevideo. Dezotti played 9 games for "La Violeta" (The Violet) with 1 goal.

At 34 Dezotti retired. At international level he played 3 times for Argentina U20's winning a World Cup silver medal in Mexico '93. He also earned 9 full Argentina caps. He made his debut in 1988 and then took part in Italia' 90. He scored the decisive penalty in the quarter final shoot out against Yugoslavia. He then played the final but was sent off in the 87th minute in the Albiceleste's defeat by Germany.

In Rome he was known as "Cicciobello" (popular Italian doll -pretty boy, for his looks). At Lazio he will be remembered mainly for that vital left-footed volley on a torrid June afternoon at the Flaminio which saved Lazio from relegation. He did not leave a great mark at Lazio but obviously improved and had a good spell at Cremonese. He scored 110 career league goals, played with Diego Maradona and is one of the select few to have played in a World Cup Final (albeit losing and being sent off ...).

Lazio Career


Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia


38 (9)

29 (3)

9 (6)



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