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Carmelo Barbieri from Ariano is one of Canada’s most popular soccer players

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Arian Irbino

A valuable recognition for the Aryans Carmelo Barbieri, the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club has decided to induct him into the club’s Wall Of Fame in the Players category. President Robert Iruski announced in an official statement:

“As President and CEO of the Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club, we would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending the Toronto Azzurri Wall of Fame Induction Gala.

As our club continues its philanthropic and beneficial journey, we are reminded of the fact that we continue to serve the community every day, thanks to those who paved the way for us. Indeed, we cannot successfully navigate a chosen path without remembering where we came from.

The Toronto Azzurri Wall of Fame Induction Gala is an evening where we honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the creation and development of TASC and the evolution of the game of soccer both nationally and internationally.

Thanks to all subscribers! We are truly proud to count you among Azzurri’s friends. Each year’s event would not be possible without your presence and the generosity of so many individuals and organizations.

Carmelo Barbieri, Toronto Azzurri Sc 1968 Wall of fame & Gala brochure reads:

In 1968, Westwood Beavers (U13) head coach Ralph Pisani discovered Carmelo playing a pick-up game at Pickford Park in Toronto. Little did he know that Barbieri would become one of the best young GTA footballers! Carmelo had a knack for goal and a natural instinct to know how to dominate his time and space. He was spotted by U18 Mio Majors coach Mario Peruzza in 1971. At just 15 years old, Carmelo helped his team capture the Canadian championship in Edmonton that fall.

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In 1972, Frank Pike, the coach of the Canadian under-19 national team, invited Carmelo to participate in the CONCACAF tournament in Mexico. In two years with the program, Barbieri scored 6 goals in 8 games. Canada’s men’s team coach, Eckhardt Grotzen, invited Carmelo to play against Bermuda in an international friendly. He arranged for Carmelo to attend training with German club Borussia Dortmund that winter.

That year, Barbieri captained Fiorigi Pagliuso’s Mio Majors, who were promoted to play in the Toronto & District Premier League. The team was Westwood’s showcase team, consisting of Margantonio, Ariganello, Irucci, D’Agostino, Rose and Plessas. In two years, Carmelo led the league in scoring and helped his team win the championship and the Ontario Cup. In 1973, 17-year-old Carmelo was invited to play regularly for Toronto Italia in the National Soccer League (NSL).

The following year, Barbieri finished second in league scoring behind the Serbian White Eagles’ Mike Stojanovic, and in 1975 he won the league scoring title, was voted the league’s top scorer, and scored 2 goals in the national club championship as Toronto beat the Firemen of Italia Victoria PC 3–0. Goals at York Stadium in front of 7500 people.

Barbiri was now ready to begin his career in Italy. In 74/’75, he was invited to AC Milan’s training center Milanello for 6 months. Just as he was poised to land at a Serie B club, the Italian federation decided to close its borders to foreign players and foreigners. Carmelo spent the next 10 years playing professionally with Serie C (Cacertana, Monopoli, Barletta) and Serie D (Lavello and Ariano). He was one of the protagonists of the legendary adventure in Serie D, in the very town of Tricol, where he coached.

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Not only football but also volleyball. Carmelo Barbieri’s name is linked to Gsa Ariano, the historic team led by Giulio Filomena. Among the most established volleyball clubs in Italy. A sportsman with a thousand resources, he held the position of manager in charge of the youth department here. An evergreen, versatile athlete, he continues to carry Ariano’s name with pride.

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