Giorgio Ghezzi

Giorgio Ghezzi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒordʒo ˈɡettsi; ˈɡeddzi]; 11 July 1930 – 12 December 1990), nicknamed "Kamikaze", was an Italian football manager and player who played as a goalkeeper.[1]

Giorgio Ghezzi
Personal information
Date of birth (1930-07-11)11 July 1930
Place of birth Cesenatico, Italy
Date of death 12 December 1990(1990-12-12) (aged 60)
Place of death Forlì, Italy
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–1949 Rimini 44 (0)
1949–1951 Modena 62 (0)
1951–1958 Internazionale 186 (0)
1958–1959 Genoa 32 (0)
1959–1965 Milan 123 (0)
Total 447 (0)
National team
1954–1961 Italy 6 (0)
Teams managed
1966–1967 Genoa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career

Born in Cesenatico, Ghezzi started his career at Rimini in 1947 and later played for Modena between 1949 and 1951. He subsequently joined Internazionale in 1951, making his Serie A debut that season in a 3–1 home win over Legnano on 21 October. He remained at the club for 7 years, playing a total of 191 matches with the team across all competitions (Serie A, European Cup and Coppa Italia). During his time with Inter, he won 2 Serie A titles in 1953 and 1954.[1][2][3][4][5]

At the end of the 1957–58 season, he was sold to Genoa, and then, in 1959, he returned to Milan, but to join Inter's cross-city rivals A.C. Milan, as a replacement for his perceived career rival Lorenzo Buffon, who had instead joined Genoa that season, and who subsequently moved to Ghezzi's former club Inter the following season. With Milan, Ghezzi won another Serie A title in 1962 and the 1962–63 European Champions Cup in 1963; in the 1963 European Cup Final, he was one of the club's star performers as Milan defeated Eusébio's Benfica 2–1 at Wembley, becoming the first Italian goalkeeper to win the European Cup. Ghezzi retired with Milan in 1965.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

International career

At international level, Ghezzi made six appearances for the Italy national football team between 1954 and 1961. He made his debut on 11 April 1954, in a 3–1 away win over France, and was a starting member of the Italy team that took part at the 1954 FIFA World Cup, despite competition from several other excellent Italian goalkeepers at the time, such as Leonardo Costagliola, Giovanni Viola, Giuliano Sarti, and William Negri. Later he found his opportunities in the national team more limited due to the presence of his perceived career rival Buffon.[1][2][4][5][7]

Style of play

An aggressive, courageous and spectacular goalkeeper, Ghezzi was known in particular for his athleticism, agility, reflexes and acrobatic saves, as well as his speed when rushing off his line to anticipate or challenge opposing strikers; his playing style as a sweeper keeper inspired his nickname kamikaze. Despite his shot-stopping abilities and reputation as one of the greatest Italian goalkeepers of his generation, he was also at times criticised for his mentality and consistency, and was known for letting his emotions get the better of him on occasion.[1][2][3][5]

Managerial career

Following his retirement as a player, Ghezzi served as manager of Genoa between 1966 and 1967.[1]

Personal life

Ghezzi dated the Italian television personality and actress Edy Campagnoli, who later went on to marry Ghezzi's perceived career rival, Buffon.[2]

Ghezzi died in his hometown Forlì on 12 December 1990, at the age of 60, from a heart attack.[1][2][3]





  • A.C. Milan Hall of Fame[6]


  1. Alberto Costa. "GHEZZI, Giorgio" (in Italian). Treccani: Enciclopedia dello Sport (2002). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  2. "Il kamikaze Ghezzi e le notti di Cesenatico" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  3. "CIAO GHEZZI, KAMIKAZE" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 13 December 1990. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. "Profile: Ghezzi" (in Italian). Enciclopedia del Calcio. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  5. "Giorgio Ghezzi" (in Italian). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  6. "A.C. Milan Hall of Fame: Giorgio Ghezzi". A.C. Milan. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  7. Andrea Oliveri (10 September 2010). "Nel 1959 viene deciso lo scambio tra i portieri Ghezzi e Buffon" (in Italian). Retrieved 30 October 2017.