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The tragedy of Di Bartolomei

Born with the gift of football and became a figure of Rome, but ended up shooting himself in the heart at 39 years.
In the history of Rome there is a twice sinister date: May 30. His two worst misfortunes occurred that day, ten years away.

The protagonist in both is Agostino Di Bartolomei, a Roman who was born with the gift of football and became the figure of the team. The happy story of so many times: the neighborhood kid gifted for football, who emerges, comes to the quarry with 14 years, grows inside her, debuted in the first team with 18 and soon becomes the figure, the favorite of the fans.

Di Bartolomei played at half-point, behind the striker, in an ideal position to look: the ten on the back, ball to the foot, the others to run for him, fine dribbling, just pass, some precious goals. It maddened the romanista fans, who got irritated every time they did not call the National Team, they considered it a grievance. The fans knew him by 'Ago', apócope of Agostino.

In the eighties, he was consolidated as captain and star of a great Rome, which had many other brilliant players: Tancredi, Falcao, Conti, Pruzzo, Graziani ... They won one, two, three scudettos. In 1984 they reached the final of the European Cup. As luck would have it, the final had been set a year earlier for the Olympic Games in Rome, so everything was in favor. Opposite, yes, there was Liverpool, who had three titles. In that Liverpool played our today convinced Michael Robinson.


It was May 30, 1984. The Romans promised them very happy.

But it did not go well. Di Bartolomei played very late (from time to time his coach, Liedholm, used him there, which disliked many) and did nothing appreciable. The game ended 1-1 after extra time and, oh disappointment !, Liverpool won on penalties. It was the first edition that was resolved in this way. Many will remember Grobelaar, the goal of Liverpool, feigning tremors in the line, with steps like drunk, to make nervous the opposing shooters.

Di Bartolomei scored his penalty, but he did not get away from the disaster. He also fought with Falcao, whom he accused of cowardice for not shooting. Roma hired a new coach, Eriksson, who advised getting rid of Di Bartolomei. I wanted a faster game. He went with Liedholm to Milan. The radical fans of Rome backed him with a big banner: "They have kicked you out of the club, but not from La Curva". The curve, of course, was the background of the fans.

He was not happy in his new life. Milan was big, the weather and the public, cold. A few days of the championship was the Milan-Rome. He marked and celebrated it excessively, in a revengeful way. That alienated him many sympathies among the Roman fans. In the second round, when he visited his old house, he was booed. He retaliated with an ugly entry to Conti, after which he had a fight with Graziani. All very unpleasant.

Three years at the Milan did not leave anything in his life. When Arrigo Sacchi arrived to replace Liedholm, he was discharged. He went to Cesena, a team that only aspired to stay. Then, his wife, from the South, convinced him to finish his career in Salernitana, from Serie C. He contributed to his promotion to Serie B and left football.

He was a commentator for RAI in the World-90. "The best Italian player who never played in the national team", they publicized. It was rather sparing in words, it did not work.

He stayed to live in the South, in San Marcos de Castellabate, near Salerno. He expected to be hired to train a team or be a technical secretary. While he went out or something did not come out, he set up a football school there, for which he made investments that were disastrous. Between that and some bad movement in the stock market the savings went away.

He felt forgotten, he lived depressed.

On May 30, 1994, just ten years after the defeat to Liverpool, he left at 10:50 in the morning, barefoot, to the terrace of his house with a Smith & Wesson of 38, newly acquired, and He shot in the heart. His stepson, who heard the shot, came quickly, tried to revive him, but was dead instantly.

He left a letter: "I feel locked in a hole" was the phrase that summarized the text.
This caused a commotion in all of Italy, and particularly among the Romanists, who dismissed him with this obituary: "Niente parole ... just a posto in fondo al cuore, Ciao, Ago" (Without words ... only a place at the bottom of the heart ). They regretted having denied him a hand.

And they do not forget him. In the club's sports city, in Trigoria, the main course bears his name. And every year a youth tournament is played in his honor.



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