Awards: "Le Ali della Vittoria" to Stramaccioni

ROME – "Le
Ali della Vittoria"
 is the
celebration of Italian amateur football, it’s the ceremony which, more than any
other, confirms the close relationship between the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti
and the heart of Italian football. The LND is at the core of a movement which
has positive values to convey. Italian football is a family which is trying to
pick itself up following the criticism which has rained down on it, and the
inquests which have undermined its credibility on the professional level. This
is the spirit in which president Carlo Tavecchio hosted the 6th edition of the awards at the
Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, in the Petrassi room. We mustn’t forget,
however, that a member of this big family is no longer with us. Piermario
Morosini is only the latest on the sad list that has claimed victims in
so-called minor league football, players who didn’t receive the coverage which
came with the passing of the late Livorno player. A memory, then, which will
embrace players and officials of every level who have left this world, dedicating
their lives to football.

"Le Ali della Vittoria" is
an award ceremony which was first held in 2004 and whose past winners include
some of the most famous faces in Italian sport. People like the Honourable
Rocco Crimi, Deputy Minister for Sport, state officials Petrucci, Pagnozzi, Abete, Vicini,
Albertini, Macalli and Valentini, Moratti as club director, Sacchi,
Prandelli, Del Neri, Zaccheroni and Ballardini as
coaches, players Muzzi, Corradi, Bazzani and Grosso, and Pizzul,
Palombo, Civoli, Scarnati, Bianchi and Moretti as sports journalists.

Aside from the appearance of the president of the Italian Football Federation
(FIGC) – man who always keeps a close eye on what is happening in the game
–  there was an even more important guest, as the 2012 awards welcomed the
FIFA president Joseph Blatter. Following UEFA president Michel Platini, the
head of the game’s governing body responded with enthusiasm to president
Tavecchio’s invitation and is back in Italy for the second time in eight months
after the opening ceremony of the Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna in

Last night’s edition, besides
honouring Blatter, also saw awards given to long-serving state officials, who
in their various roles, have given a life-time of support to grass-roots
football: vice president of the LND Antonio Cosentino and the tax advisor
Edmondo Caira. Aside from them, there were of course important figures from the
FIGC, politicians and experts, who help to make Italian football an example of
diversity and a game which is played in the right spirit: Damiano Tommasi
(president of the AIC) and Stefano Palazzi (state prosecutor). "Le Ali della Vittoria",
though, is essentially about the football played on the pitch and so it’s only
right that we celebrate the people who carry the name of amateur football, week
in week out, by working in close contact with youngsters. This is true of
coaches like Ciro Ferrara, an example for football lovers everywhere, Robert
Menichelli, who recently won an European bronze medal for the Italian 5-a-side
team, Massimiliano Esposito, the national coach of the beach soccer team, and
Andrea Stramaccioni, now Inter coach, but previously in charge of a number of
amateur sides. From the dug-out we move to the pitch where an excellent
prospect of Italian football is recognised, in the shape of Gianluca Sansone
(he also played for the national under 18 amateur side), the Sassuolo striker.
So too is the decorated women’s footballer Melania Gabbiadini of Bardolino, and
indeed the last line of the Azzurri defence in 5-a-side football, Stefano
Mammarella, voted best goalkeeper in the world. A key figure without even
kicking a ball, the international official Nicola Rizzoli won the best referee
award. Sport – and football in particular – would not be the same without the
media, who through their work are able to bring it to life. This year’s winners
were the head of the Gazzetta dello Sport Andrea Monti, the journalist from the
Corriere dello Sport-Stadio, Roberto Di Gianfrancesco and the radio
journalist Emilio Mancuso, host of the show, "La Politica nel

It was a great celebration of
football at the Auditorium della Musica in Rome. Andrea Stramaccioni, busy with
Inter preparing for the re-arranged league game against Udinese was represented
by Massimiliano Catini,
his long-time colleague and assistant at Inter.

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