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Lorenzo Amoruso

Lorenzo AmorusoBiography, Italian footballer

Italian footballer
Lorenzo Amoruso
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Italian footballer
Is Athlete Football player Association football player
From Italy
Type Sports
Gender male
Birth 28 June 1971, Bari
Age: 49 years
The details

Biography

Lorenzo Pier Luigi Amoruso (born 28 June 1971) is a retired Italian footballer who played for seven teams during his footballing career but is perhaps best known for his six-year spell with Glasgow side Rangers. In that six-year spell, he managed to win nine major honours with the club including domestic trebles in seasons 1998–99 and 2002–03, representing them over 150 times in competitive football.

Club career

Italy

He began his career at local club, Bari, in 1988, for whom he went on to make 75 appearances, scoring 8 goals. Amoruso spent 1991-1993 on loan at Mantova and Pescara, but only featured intermittently. In 1995 he secured a move to Fiorentina, becoming club captain and making 54 appearances. He won the Coppa Italia in 1996 and in 1997 the Florence side went on a remarkable run in Europe where they reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup only to lose out to eventual champions Barcelona.

Rangers

Following interest from Manchester United, Amoruso signed for Rangers on 29 May 1997 for a fee of £4 million. Whilst with the club he won the Scottish Premier League on three occasions, as well as the Scottish Cup three times and the Scottish League Cup three times. After missing most of his debut season with an Achilles tendon injury, he was installed as captain of Rangers by Dick Advocaat in 1998. After returning to the team Amoruso was booed by Rangers fans after several poor displays and tactical errors. Amoruso also clashed with the manager several times, resulting in an eventually aborted move to Sunderland. Advocaat began to sign defenders to replace Amoruso, Bert Konterman for example and also Paul Ritchie, but the Italian remained after his replacements failed. Ritchie did not make a single appearance while Konterman was criticised – particularly by his own fans – for being an expensive signing with minimal returns.

In December 1999, Amoruso issued a public apology after directing racist comments at Borussia Dortmund's Nigerian striker Victor Ikpeba. Earlier that day Amoruso's denied the allegations and threatened legal action in an interview to Corriere dello Sport (an Italian daily sports paper). The denials were described as "vehement" by the Daily Mail. He was later forced into a change of position, described as embarrassing by the Daily Mail and The Times, when TV footage contradicted his story. Subsequently, the BBC featured reports that Rangers supporters' racism had increased, in support of Amoruso.

In the 2000–01 season, when Rangers exited the UEFA Champions League to Monaco partly because of another bad mistake by Amoruso, he was stripped of the captaincy (which went to the 22-year-old Barry Ferguson). Amoruso had captained the club for two years, the first ever Catholic to do so. He was left humiliated by the demotion and later accused Advocaat of trying to destroy him.

After Dick Advocaat's October 2000 attack on what he described as "fat necks" in his squad, reports named the Italian as a probable target. More errors had seen Amoruso again booed by his own teams' supporters.

Advocaat was later removed as manager and Amoruso rediscovered his form under new boss Alex McLeish; winning the 2002 Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year. After a four-match ban for spitting on James Grady, he scored the winning goal in his final game for Rangers—the 2003 Scottish Cup final—and wept as he left the pitch.

Blackburn Rovers

Amoruso left Rangers in July 2003 to make a £1.4 million move to Blackburn, who wanted him as a replacement for Henning Berg. The sale was forced by Rangers' large debts. His Blackburn debut came on 16 August 2003. On the pitch for the full ninety minutes, his place in the team appeared justified as he scored the opening goal after 17 minutes. In October, a knee injury kept him out of the game for five months. As he returned and came into the team on a sporadic basis playing only eighteen times for Blackburn. His 2004–05 season was marred by regular injuries and he did not play any part of the 2005–06 season. He was released by Rovers in the summer of 2006.

In January 2008, Amoruso briefly came out of retirement to sign for Cosmos of San Marino on a part-time basis.

International career

Amoruso represented Italy at the 1987 FIFA U-16 World Championship and won two caps at Under 21 level.

He was never selected by Italy at full international level, which Amoruso attributed to a "strange mentality" pervading his homeland. He blamed Giovanni Trapattoni, Cesare Maldini and Dino Zoff for failing to provide him with the call-up he felt he deserved.

In 2004 Amoruso expressed a desire to play for Scotland, through residency. He said: "I began to feel like part of me was Scottish."

Honours

Club

Bari
  • Mitropa Cup: 1
1990
Fiorentina
  • Italian Cup: 1
1995–96
  • Italian Supercup: 1
1996
Rangers
  • Scottish Premier League: 3
1998–99, 1999–2000, 2002–03
  • Scottish Cup: 3
1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03
  • Scottish League Cup: 3
1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03

Individual

  • Scottish Premier League Player of the Month: January 2002
  • SPFA Players' Player of the Year: 2001-02

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