Former Napoli player and coach Bruno Pesaola has sadly passed away at the age of 89 due to a cardiovascular collapse, after spending several days under treatment in the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Napoli.
Pesaola, nicknamed ‘Il Petisso’ – the little one – arrived in Italy from Buenos Aires and spent the majority of his playing career in Naples, after enjoying spells at Roma and Novara and later Genoa, before dedicating his time to a successful career in coaching.
After eight years and 240 appearances for Napoli, Pesaola returned to start a lucrative coaching career with the Partenopei, who he coached between 1962 and 1968, before returning for later stints, an adventure which saw him deliver the Coppa Italia in 1962, while Napoli were in Serie B, and remain the only club to accomplish.
Following that achievement ‘Il Petisso’ managed to gain Napoli promotion into Serie A, and earned their highest finish in the league at the time.
Perhaps his most important success came in Florence as Pesaola went on to win the 1968/69 Scudetto with Fiorentina, which is the club’s second and most recent league title.
That took the Tuscan’s to greater heights, as they reached the finals of European competitions and managed an unprecedented unbeaten record which Pesaola was duly rewarded for with a managerial award.
After three years with the Florentines, the Argentine-Italian then moved on to coach Bologna, with whom he won his second Coppa Italia in 1974, before returning to Napoli in 1976 for a single year and then once again in 1982.
Following a short term at Greek club Panathinaikos, Pesaola ended his career in 1985 with Campania Ponticelli, a club from the Napoli area.
Italian football remains in mourning, with former clubs Napoli and Fiorentina taking to social media to express their sorrow, the former writing: “A piece of our history has left us, ciao Petisso,” while Fiorentina added their own sentiments.
“ACF Fiorentina would like to express its deep sadness at learning of the death of Bruno Pesaola. Petisso, as he was affectionately known, was one of the Viola’s best ever coaches.”