Remembering Morosini: a self-made star unable to escape the shadow of death at 26

It has been 10 long years since Piermario Morosini succumbed to a cardiac arrest while playing in the match between Pescara and Livorno in Serie B.

The date was April 14, 2012. The occasion was a Serie B encounter between Livorno and Pescara. The player was Piermario Morosini, who, out of nowhere, robbed the focus of the crowd with a fall, no two, no there was the third. And that was his last. After collapsing on the ground three times on the trot, he didn’t manage to stand up for the third time, finding his peace on the lap of Mother Earth for eternity.

Headlines were made catchy to draw the eyes of those used to avoid this kind of news: “The first death on the field at the time of Youtube.” Indeed, it was. The autopsy later revealed that Mrorsini’s body had submitted to a physical ailment called Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.

Breaking the chains of the material sphere, Morosini went far at the age of 26. It was unfornatute. But the midfielder was no stranger to the unfortunate events. At the age of 15, he lost his mother. At 17, he saw the demise of his father. His disabled brother committed suicide when the player was 18. By 19, he was all alone with his sister, who was disabled as well.

Morosini was not a superstar, and neither was he a household name plying his trade in the top tier of the Italian footballing pyramid. But he was a lively figure, always making the field with a gentlemen’s smile on his face. 

In an interview with Guerin Sportivo in 2005, Morosini talked about his dreams.

“These are things that mark you and change your life. But at the same time, they put a lot of anger into your body and help you to always give everything to realize what was also a dream of my parents. I would like to become a good player, especially for them, because I know how happy it would make them.”

Playing any kind of professional sport in itself is a sumptuous achievement. Morosini was a level above that. But his heartbreaking demise, albeit tragic, brought some reformation to the world of football.

The immediate treatment of cardiac arrest saw some radical alternations, with new and modernised methods of treating patients with defibrillators introduced on the ground. The death of Morosini remains one of the principal reasons the number of on-field death due to cardiac arrest has decreased significantly over the years.

As for Morosini, his number 5 shirt, donning which he made his debut for Italy U21s in 2006, rests beside the one of Davide Astori in the Football Museum in Coverciano.

Jyotirmoy Halder

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