Cosenza, tribute to the tennis champion of the seventies Vittorio Magnelli at Palazzo dei Bruzi


By John

The beautiful documentary “Do you remember Vittorio?” opens on the jazzy notes of “El porta i scarp del tennis” by Enzo Jannacci, authored by the refined videomaker from Cosenza Gianluca Bozzo. The documentary film tells the story of Vittorio Magnelli, tennis player from Cosenza, in vogue in the seventies and who, starting from the Spirito Santo district, in the historic center, where he hit his first racket shots at the tennis club of the Villa Vecchia, has come to be today, after a glorious past as a player , in close contact with the greats of Italian tennis, from Adriano Panatta to Corrado Barazzutti, head of the women’s technical sector of the Italian Tennis Federation. Gianluca Bozzo’s documentary is only the starting point of the tribute that the Municipality of Cosenza, hoped for by the President of the Municipal Council Giuseppe Mazzuca and the President of the sports and culture council commission, chaired by Mimmo Frammartinowanted to arrange to deliver to Vittorio Magnelli recognition for his sporting career.

In the motivation for the recognition, Magnelli is defined as “Cosenza pride of yesterday and today. First, the strongest Calabrian tennis player ever, then, extraordinary national technical director of the women’s sector.” Mayor Franz Caruso was unable to take part in the ceremony due to another institutional commitment but he did, however, meet Vittorio Magnelli on the sidelines of the tribute that was organized for him in the council room of Palazzo dei Bruzi. That boy from ’57 has come a long way. Try asking the red earth if it has made any. Yet he didn’t think about tennis, enraptured as he was by football. Then, from the age of twelve onwards, he began to follow the two sports together until he began to appear behind the protective net of that tennis court inside the old Villa, at the edges of which many of the boys who lived in the village used to gather. Spirito Santo neighborhood, a few meters from that red rectangle. And while the images of Gianluca Bozzo’s documentary scroll on the screens of the council hall of Palazzo dei Bruzi, Vittorio Magnelli is told by his lifelong friends, those with whom he played as a boy at the Villa Vecchia tennis club of which he was President the professor. Cesare Quintieri: Pino Abate, Francesco Kostner and many others. That club was very popular with the children of Prof. Quintieri, the late Maurizio and Beniamino Quintieri, currently President of Credito Sportivo and who came specifically from Rome so as not to miss his presence at the tribute promoted at Palazzo dei Bruzi in honor of Vittorio Magnelli.

Between the story of the documentary film and the testimonies in person, the portrait that emerges of Vittorio Magnelli is that not only of a great tennis player, the strongest expressed by Calabria, but also of an excellent coach. In fact, the successes of the Italian women’s national team also bear his signature. Not to forget that Magnelli followed both Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta and also Francesca Schiavone for a year. Those who leaf through the album of memories in slow motion cannot help but recall his past as a first-class tennis player in the times of Panatta, Barazzutti and Bertolucci, when Italy won the Davis Cup in Chile, it was ’76 . He also participated in an edition of the French internationals at Roland Garros and when he began to coach he nurtured the talents of Vincenzo Santopadre (now coach of Matteo Berrettini) And Stefano Pescosolido. Then there was the call from Adriano Panatta, coach of the first Italian tennis team, who recruited him to follow the boys and among them he emerged Andrea Gaudenzi. If he hadn’t had his head on his shoulders and if he hadn’t remained the same as he always was, Vittorio Magnelli would have been fascinated by his successes and by the world of tennis that matters. And instead, here he is again in his Cosenza enjoying the crowds that his friends reserved for him, none of whom intend to avoid the souvenir photo. They respect and idolize him as they once did, even if his white hair reveals the passage of time.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge, but Vittorio has – as he did not fail to say Mimmo Frammartino – always humility on his side which is also the key to his success. A modest, authentic and respectable person, who has dedicated a life to tennis – adds Joe Lappano, Federal Councilor and President of the FIT Regional Committee. The anecdotes, some of which are unpublished, are displayed Pino Abate, member of the higher education commission of the Italian Tennis Federation, and the journalist Francesco Kostner vhe and Vittorio Magnelli shared a passion for tennis but also a very long and sincere friendship. Abate tells of when Vittorio agreed to play with the less gifted tennis boys who frequented the Villa Vecchia club, on the condition that he gave them an advantage of a few games, in short, making them start from more than 30. For Francesco Kostner, today’s game “is a memorable day for the city and for tennis.

Our generation has enjoyed a great privilege because it drank from a great source, a school of life, as well as sport.” The reference is to the tennis club founded by Prof. Cesare Quintieri”. Kostner, together with Mimmo Frammartino and the President of Credito Sportivo, Beniamino Quintieri, harbors the serious intention – and during the ceremony the discussion fell on the topic several times – to see the club and its tennis court reborn at the old Villa , “a fundamental piece of our city”. After the anecdotes also told by Beniamino Quintieri to remember the exceptional qualities of the player Vittorio Magnelli, the tennis player from Cosenza says he is proud and happy to receive this well-deserved career recognition from his city, responding presently to the appeal launched to revive the club where he shot first racket shots. A wooden Maxima that he had received as a gift from Prof. Cesare Quintieri.