Hopelessly Romantic: Remembering Works Teams

When a football legend parts from the game either through retirement or death, ink splatters as tributes are furiously written to consider the man’s style of play, his memorable moments on the pitch, his connections with his fans, and his contributions to club and country. Even for an almost legend, debates commence over whether the player had been underrated, if he should indeed be a member in the pantheon of the greats instead of simply a distinguished guest, or what flaws he might have had as a player or person that prevented him from achieving truly legendary status. In the event the footballing community loses one of its less prominent members, a mention is made by the club with thoughts going out to his family along with an announcement of the funeral arrangements and a generic line regarding the player’s statistical trace from yesteryear. Perhaps his old club wears a black armband for its next match, which makes many of the club’s younger fans ask, “Who died again?” An incident of the later variety happened this past week, when French club Sochaux-Montbéliard announced the passing and funeral of World War II-era player Charles Castellani. Also known as Carlo (and certainly not the same Carlo Castellani for whom Empoli FC named their stadium after), this Castellani was a hometown lad for Sochaux and spent most of his years playing for Les Lionceaux during and after the war. With his Italian family having previously fled...

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