“It was a madhouse”
Italy legend witnesses mafia arrest firsthand
Mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro (61) was arrested on Sunday. The former Italian national player Salvatore Schillaci (58), who reports on the events, was also in the middle.
Published: 2 minutes ago
Salvatore “Totò” Schillaci experienced a very unusual Sunday morning.
“Like in the Wild West.” This is how Salvatore “Totò” Schillaci describes the scenes from Sunday morning when the most wanted mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro (61) was arrested in Palermo (I).
The former Italian national striker was also in the private clinic “La Maddalena” at the time, where Denaro wanted to be treated under a false name. “I was in front of the entrance around 8.15 a.m. But I couldn’t get in yet. Suddenly I saw all the hooded carabinieri,” Schillaci told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
The military is suddenly there too
The top scorer of the 1990 World Cup didn’t know what was happening to him. Because the 58-year-old still had to wait, he wanted to smoke a cigarette in front of a bar when the officials started their action. “‘Stop!’ they shouted at us,” says Schillaci. ‘It was a madhouse. We were all stuck.”
The military blocked all access to the hospital and shielded the medical staff inside the wards. However, the nurses and doctors were not informed what was going on. Schillaci himself never saw the mafia billionaire himself.
National debut against Switzerland
The former striker made 16 appearances for the Squadra Azzurra. He made his debut on March 31, 1990 in a 1-0 friendly win against Switzerland. In total, he scored seven goals in national dress. He shot six of them at the home World Cup in 1990 and thus secured the Golden Boot.
At club level, Schillaci first played for Messina, then for Juve (132 games, 36 goals) and Inter (36 games, 12 goals). With Juve he won the Coppa Italia and the Uefa Cup in 1990, followed by the second title in European competition in 1994 with the Nerazzurri. The native Sicilian then moved to Japan to join Jubilo Iwata, where he ended his career two years later. (che)