Disappeared at the age of 54, the FIGC invited him as a speaker to a course for technicians: “I have no secret, what happened to me can happen to anyone. But football gives me strength, I felt great on the pitch “

    “Yes, I am afraid of dying. And what can I do? I pray and I take care, there is no other way “. This is how he spoke to the Gazzetta Giorgio Rotolo, last May, when the fight against a devastating tumor had not prevented him from his last venture: to bring the Stresa to Serie D. Unfortunately, at only 54 years old, he passed away. Overwhelmed by a disease that had manifested itself in October 2020 with a toothache, with the terrible diagnosis then arrived in the following months: squamous carcinoma of the jaw. From there began the series of surgical interventions, chemotherapies that seemed to restore hope and relapses ready to crush it. Obstacles always faced with courage and with the desire not to give up his greatest passion: training. As a former athlete (he was a defender in Serie D) and reconciling with the teaching of physical education at school. In the summer of 2021, Rotolo decides to remain at the helm of his team, with the help of a trusted deputy like Cristian Nicolini, ready to support him and replace him in the most difficult moments: “I only missed four games and some training”, he then recounted. , however, following everything closely also thanks to technology and live streaming matches. An obstacle course up to the dream, fulfilled, of jumping into the top amateur championship. Last May, among the many compliments, he also received those of Stefano Pioli (with a video) and Walter Zenga (his son Jacopo was in the team).

    the example

    The inspiration, between the training ground and the health resorts, was Sinisa Mihajlovic. Another warrior, who remained at the helm of Bologna even in the most difficult moments of his fight against leukemia. And who saw his players huddling together: “Like Sinisa’s Bologna against Juventus, Inter and Roma: I think the same thing happened in mine. In those moments, the players see the coach differently, they know he doesn’t have a cold ”.


    In June, recognition also comes from the FIGC after his story was told in the Gazzetta by Nicola Binda: Rotolo is invited to Coverciano, as a speaker for his colleagues on the Uefa A and Uefa Pro coaching course. His words touch the soul of those present: “I have no secret, what happened to me can happen to anyone. But football gives me strength: when I went out on the pitch, I felt great ”. In the summer, Stresa confirmed him, together with his deputy, in the hope of living together the adventure in Serie D. Giorgio Rotolo, however, resigned, just in the week before the start of the championship, for the need to be treated. The experimental therapies, unfortunately, did not work. He died in the afternoon at the Galliate Hospice, leaving behind a strong message of will to live and love for football.