Author-Educator Peter Cimini Envisions A New Africa…
By Peter D. Cimini
Giancarlo Barzinni was born in 1938, the only child of Leopoldo and Anna Barzinni. The Barzinni family lived in Piedmont, south of the mighty Alps in the northwestern region of Italy. Giancarlo’s parents were domestic workers for a wealthy family who owned a villa overlooking Lake Maggiore. His father tended the villa’s grounds and his mother worked as a house cleaner.
When Giancarlo learned to walk, he accompanied his mother to morning Mass. By five years of age, Giancarlo became deeply influenced by his mother’s devotion to her Catholic religion. When Giancarlo began his schooling, he also started playing European football and soon became the dominant player among his peers. People from the Piedmont region of Italy heard of a young talented footballer from Lake Maggiore, and many traveled to watch the ten-year-old soccer phenom. At fifteen years of age, Giancarlo became the youngest player invited to Italy’s national team tryouts. Coaches from the national team had been impressed with his exceptional football skills. During the final week of tryouts, Giancarlo seriously injured his hip in a collision with another player. The injured young player returned home without qualifying for a spot on the national team, with the assurance that he would receive an invitation to the national team’s 1965 trials.
Giancarlo, now twenty years of age, received his invitation to the Italian national football teams 1965 try-outs. The coaches once again were impressed with Giancarlo’s skills and noticed an improved maturity in his approach to game of football. During the third week of trials, Giancarlo was participating in a kick on goal drill against a defensive player, he cut sharply to his right to avoid a defensive team member, and suddenly fell to the ground in severe pain. The team medical trainer accompanied Giancarlo to the medical facility for an ankle x-ray. The x-ray showed a broken anklebone. That evening during a coaches’ meeting, it was decided to exclude Giancarlo from further competition with Italy’s national team. The coaches were unwilling to hold a spot on the team roster, for an injury prone player, no matter how skillful he was. Giancarlo was sent home and informed that he would not be considered in the future.
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