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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Massimo Cacciatori

Massimo Cacciatori was born in Ascoli Piceno, on May 4, 1951.

Source Wikipedia

He started playing for local club Del Duca Ascoli and then spent spells with Inter and Cagliari's youth sectors before making his professional debut with Sampdoria.

He played for the Blucerchiati between 1972 and 1978. The first five in Serie A with 11th, 13th, 12th, 11th and 14th places (relegation) and one in Serie B with an 8th place. His managers were Heriberto Herrera, Guido Vincenzi, future Lazio Giulio Corsini, Eugenio Bersellini and Giorgio Canali. His teammates included Lazio connections Roberto Badiani, Mario Maraschi, Vincenzo Chiarenza and Rosario Di Vincenzo. Cacciatori played 177 league games for "Il Doria".

In 1978 he moved to Lazio to take over from a disappointing Claudio Garella. The manager was Bob Lovati and Lazio had a decent season finishing 8th. Cacciatori played 30 league games and 6 in Coppa Italia.

The following year was a disaster for Cacciatori and Lazio. Lazio were having an average season when on March 23 Cacciatori, Bruno Giordano, Pino Wilson and Lionello Manfredonia were arrested and subsequently banned for match fixing in the Totonero scandal. Lazio, despite staying up on the pitch, were then punished with relegation for their players' alleged involvement. Before the nightmare Cacciatori had played 24 league games and 6 in Coppa Italia.

It was also the year of Vincenzo Paparelli's tragic death. The 33-year-old Lazio fan was killed by a flare fired from the Roma end before a derby game. A terrible tragedy.

Cacciatori was banned for 5 years but returned in 1983 thanks to an armistice following Italy’s world cup triumph in Spain '82. He stayed with Lazio until 1985. He played 14 league games and 5 in Coppa Italia in the 83-84 season. He was first keeper until January '84 but then got injured and lost his place to Fernando Orsi. He then came on for the last two minutes of the last game of the season, Pisa-Lazio, when Lazio avoided relegation. In '84-85 he was on the bench all season and made no appearances.

In 1985 he signed for Gubbio, in Umbria, in the fifth tier. He played 76 league games for the "Lupi" (The Wolves), over four seasons. In 1987 they were promoted to C2 (4th tier). The last two years with the Rossoblu were therefore in professional C2 with 4th and 6th places.

Cacciatori retired in 1989 at the age of 38.

He then went into coaching. His first job was in his hometown of Ascoli from 1992 to 1993. In January 1992 he took over from Giancarlo De Sisti but failed to keep the "Picchio" in Serie A (Picchio is curiously De Sisti's nickname too). Ascoli finished 18th, under Cacciatori they won 3 games and drew 2 (including Lazio 1-1 away) and lost the rest. In the Bianconeri squad were Bruno Giordano, Pedro Troglio and Massimo Piscedda, all former Lazio.

In 1992-93 he was confirmed by historic and charismatic owner Costantino Rozzi. The Piceni finished 6th. The star player was former Milan, Oliver Bierhoff who scored 20 league goals.

In 1994-95 Cacciatori was assistant to Attilio Perotti at Ancona in Serie B. The Dorici finished 6th. The following year Cacciatori was head coach but replaced after 35 games and Ancona ended up relegated to C1.

In 1996 he was head coach at Teramo in C2. During the season he took over from Giuseppe Raffaele but was then replaced by Raffaele himself before the end of the season. The "Diavoli" (The Devils) finished 7th.

In 1997 he was back home in Ascoli in C1. He came in during the season to replace Salvatore Esposito and the Bianconeri finished 10th. In the squad were former Lazio Luca Luzardi and Franco Marchegiani.

In 1999-2000 he moved to Gualdo Tadino in Umbria. He was the third manager of the season but was unable to prevent Gualdo Casacastalda from dropping from C1 to C2 after a playout.

In 2000-01 he took over at Campobasso in C2 for the last league fixture and the playoffs. In the league the "Lupi" (The Wolves - there are many in Italy.) defeated Puteolana (Pozzuoli, Naples) 1-0 but then lost the playoff semi-final to Sora (Frosinone) 0-1 on aggregate. That was his last managerial job.

Since 2001 he teaches "tecnica del portiere" (goalkeeping technique) at the Italian F.I.G.C coaching centre in Coverciano near Florence. He has also written his own text book for the course, " Il portiere moderno" (the modern goalkeeper).

Cacciatori was a good goalkeeper. He is 1.78 and 73 kilos. He was a sturdy and brave with good reactivity. There are obviously two parts to his career, before and after the Totonero scandal. Before he had played 231 Serie A games with Sampdoria and Lazio and was a respected goalkeeper. After the forced absence from the posts and at 32 he never recovered his previous form and his career went downhill.

At Lazio he had a good 1978-79 season and was popular with the fans. Lazio finished 8th and had some good wins. Cacciatori even saved a penalty from Perugia specialist Casarsa but then did miss one himself in a Coppa Italia shoot out against Palermo (Lazio lost 4-5). The following season was obviously ruined by the Totonero saga and when he returned, he seemed to be a bit past it.

Personally, he was the Lazio keeper in the season I started going to the Olimpico regularly, in the '78-79 season. He was my first keeper so, maybe with rose tinted glasses, I will always have a soft spot for him.

Lazio Career


Total appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia



















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