Massimo Palanca honorary citizen of Catanzaro, the conferment by the municipal council


By John

In a huge crowd and in an atmosphere of great celebration, the municipal council of Catanzaro this evening conferred honorary citizenship on Massimo Palanca, legendary number 11 of the team who for many years, between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s, played in Serie A, the first Calabrian team to reach this prestigious goal. Honorary citizenship in Palanca, who among other things celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday (he was born on August 21, 1953 in Loreto in the province of Ancona), was conferred by the municipal administration of Catanzaro for the deep bond that the former striker has built and consolidated with the Giallorossi fans and with the whole city, which has always paid him boundless love, passing on to all generations, even those who have not experienced the team’s roaring years, the myth of “O Rey”, a symbol identity for the Calabrian capital. Great emotion at the ceremony for the conferment of honorary citizenship to Palanca, to which several of his former comrades from that Catanzaro also paid homage – among them Adrian Banelli And Tato Sabadini – which marked an era and also the top management and the technical staff of the current Us Catanzaro, which last year regained the highest stages of national football with the return to Serie B and for some years has been reviving the glories of the past .

In the front row several organized clubs that are historically linked to Palanca by a relationship of deep affection, reciprocated by the former Catanzaro striker, famous for his excellent technique, his deadly left foot, and the ability to score goals directly from football corner (in his career, the insiders remember 13): Palanca played in various important teams, such as Napoli, but he is in Catanzaro signing 137 goals in 367 games with the Giallorossi shirt, between the 70s and 80s , unbeaten record for the team from the Calabrian capital. Palanca, who in 2011 had already received the “Keys to the City” from the Municipality of Catanzaro, was welcomed by the mayor Nicholas Fioritaby the Giunta and the City Council in the Provincial hall: upon his arrival in the courtroom a very long and colorful applause, practically an ovation, greeted the former Giallorossi bomber, who was accompanied by his wife and appeared particularly excited, especially at the moment in which the CEO of the current Catanzaro company, Diego Foresti, gave Palanca his number 11 shirt which was officially withdrawn by the Giallorossi club. Only 111 examples will be sold in the official stores, on the pitch no one else will ever wear the 11 again. During the ceremony, two recently deceased exponents of the world of football who linked their names to the Catanzaro: Carletto Mazzonewho led Catanzaro at the end of the 70s (he coached Catanzaro who conquered the Olimpico in Rome in 1979 with a hat-trick from Palanca) and Francesco Scorsa. At the time of the vote of honorary citizenship, approved unanimously by the City Council, the “O Rey” chorus started from the many fans present to the address of Palanca. This is how Mayor Fiorita justified the recognition of the yellow and red flag: «Palanca was the hero of Catanzaro and of all of Calabria, he was a laboratory of dreams, a champion of our hopes, a refuge from our anguish, he was very more than a footballer. In turn, Palanca thanked the municipal administration and all those present, underlining how “I feel part of this city, your affection makes me understand that I have done something good, my hope is that Catanzaro can grow more and more , I invite all the administrators to work to make it the capital of Calabria again”.

The appreciation of the president of the regional council

“Deserved, after receiving the honor of the ‘Keys of the City’ in 2011, the conferment of citizenship on Massimo Palanca, whose special bond with Catanzaro has never failed. Best wishes, also from the Regional Council that I represent, for his 70th birthday”. Says the president of the regional council Philip Mancuso.

“Eleven championships with Catanzaro between A, B and C, 115 goals, to which we must add 21 goals in the Italian Cup, three top scorer titles (in B, C and the Italian Cup), one vice top scorer in A, two promotions in the top flight, one in Serie B and, moreover, an unforgettable cameo: the hat-trick scored against Roma at the Olimpico on 4 March 1979. These are references that make Palanca, still today, the most loved footballer and who, more than any other other, represented the golden age of US Catanzaro, becoming an unforgettable symbol not only for his football prowess, but also for having been an authentic interpreter of the ethical values ​​of sport, fairness, honesty, respect for opponents”.

Mancuso underlines: “A dive into memory, the conferment of citizenship on a bishop of ‘romantic football’ and, at the same time, a viaticum for the future, now that Catanzaro has regained the highest stages of national football with the return to Serie A B, honored on his debut with an excellent draw at Cremonese’s home”.

Finally: “The football industry is an important resource, which calls for the involvement of citizens, institutions, professional categories, economic and social forces, but also schools and universities which, under the banner of sporting ethics, can optimize the benefits and improve the quality of life. The hope is that the cadet championship will be a spur for all of us, so that we can exploit the potential that the capital of Calabria has in every sector”.