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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

José Castelli

José Castelli, better known as Rato (Rat) or the Italianised Ratto, was born in São Paulo on September 18, 1903.

José Castelli is second from right standing. Source Wikipedia

He started playing football with Corinthians in 1919 and debuted professionally two years later. From 1927 he became an important player for the Brazilian club and together with Alejandro Demaria was devastating on the left wing. They won the Campeonato Paulista in 1928, 1929 and 1930.


In 1931, with Demaria and Armando Del Debbio he signed for Lazio. He stayed for two years and was a formidable player. He scored the famous winner against Roma on October 23 1932, making it the first time the Biancocelesti beat their city rivals.


In the summer of 1933, he started the pre-season training with Lazio but soon left to go back to Brazil, scared of being called up by the Italian military (he had a dual passport). He went back to play for Corinthians and stayed until 1937 when he signed for Portuguesa Santista for his final year of active football.


After retirement he became a manager and in 1942 was called by his former club Corinthians to substitute Del Debbio. He stayed on coaching the youth teams and was occasionally called to manage the first team when head coaches were sacked, with the exception of the period from 1951-54 when he was the chosen manager. As head coach he won the São Paulo championship in 1951 and 1952 plus the Rio-Sao Paulo one in 1953. 


He died in São Paulo on September 24 1984.


At Lazio he made 48 appearances with seven goals, all in Serie A.

Lazio Career


Serie A Appearances (goals)


28 (4)


19 (3)


47 (7)



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