Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the death of Niccolo Galli, Some of you might ask, Who is Niccolo Galli?
Niccolò Galli (May 22, 1983—February 10, 2001) was a promising footballer who died in a road traffic accident aged 17.
The son of former Italian international goalkeeper Giovanni Galli, he began with his hometown club, Fiorentina, before moving to Arsenal in August 1999. He spent one year in London, winning the FA Youth Cup in 2000, returning to Italy to finish his studies. He was on loan with Bologna during this time. It was here that the young central defender’s career really started to take off, featuring in Serie A and being recognised by Italy’s youth teams, before he died. Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger and Head of Youth Development and Academy Director Liam Brady both praised the young defender and stated he would have been a certainty to make the Arsenal first team but for his untimely death.
The football training centre used by Bologna FC, in the neighbourhood of Casteldebole, is named after him; Bologna FC also retired his number 27 shirt.Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger and Head of Youth Development and Academy Director Liam Brady both praised the young defender and stated he would have been a certainty to make the Arsenal first team but for his untimely death.
I was lucky enough to see Niccolo play for the youth team at Arsenal. A tall center back who was composed on the ball and powerful in the air. Out of all the players on the pitch he stood out and showed class. I said at the time that this kid was special and he would one day captain the team. Whenever a young person is taken away its always sad and heartbreaking. But we on the goonerforum will never forget and we will remember and honour his name for years to come.
RIP Niccolo Galli