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Dino Lettieri, an Italian who became a legend in Canada by talking to parrots on the field

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Dino Lettieri was the strongest goalkeeper in Canadian football history: born in Barry, he lived between the United States and Canada and became a symbol of Canucks.

There must be a special connection between Vancouver It’s Italy. Last season White hats I saw the Tuscan coach Vanni Sartini Take the team and qualify for the playoffs for the Western nations from last place Major League Soccer, Reunites with a series with the first Italian footballer to land Canada In the early 80s. The connection between North America and our country has always been very strong, as more than 60,000 Italians migrated from southern Italy and northeastern agricultural areas to Canada in the early twentieth century. After the cessation of World War I, the second major wave was recorded after World War II: many from the central and southern regions chose to reach Canada, a fact that was growing young and fast.

There were even them Martino Letter Said “Dino”, The strongest goalkeeper in Canadian football history and his family. Born in Barry on September 27, 1957, Dino emigrated to Canada as a child and is still considered a legend: he was the man who guarded the door. Conax At the 1980 Olympics and the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, only Canadians participated.

It was nicknamed Bird man of Minnesota, Because he played with it for most of his life Minnesota Giggs They Strikers, With a break with Vancouver Whitecaps between the two periods before departure Hamilton Steelers. He also dedicated himself to indoor football, which we can define as a kind of indoor football played with some rules taken from hockey, and he was added in 2001. Soccer Hall of Fame Canada.

Lettieri is remembered for being a symbol of football in Canada and for his passion for parrots. There were two people in the house with him: Lulu, the red-feathered parrot and his favorite Ozzy, yellow and blue. Dino had a soft toy similar to the one he carried with him on the pitch, and before he faced the penalty kick, he excelled at it, addressing the toy with long monologues that distracted the opponent’s attention.

The Italian-born goalkeeper and his soft toy became a brand, selling Minnesota Strikers T-shirts and hats with their photo on them. The situation deteriorated for a while: after opposition fans attacked the puppet and after the robbery in Pittsburgh and the explosion of fireworks in Edmonton, sting supporters in Chicago aimed the goalkeeper and threw firecrackers. After these events, Lettiere deliberately banned NASL (North American Football League) from bringing the toy into the target.

Dino played in 24 matches for the Canadian national team and conceded four of five goals in the 1986 World Cup: he did not play in his first match against France (1-0, Bobin goal) but was a starter against Hungary. Second game, 2-0 with goals from Esterhazy and Tedori; And in the last match against the Soviet Union, when he picked up the balls kicked by Blochin and Zharov in the net.

The Apulian-born goalkeeper is married to Michelle Nanne, daughter of former hockey player and game manager Lou Nanne, and son Vinni follows his maternal grandfather because he is a professional hockey player and plays for the Anaheim Ducks in the National Hockey League. After bagging gloves, Lottery started in the food industry and currently runs the “Dinosaur Cafe Pizzeria” in Shorewood, Minnesota.

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The brothers left their identity in Canada Sam e Bob Lenardussi, Who has been the national team manager on several occasions; Going through Carmine Marcontonio Until well known Roberto Betteca, Bernardo Coradi, Matteo Ferrari, Marco de Vio, Alessandro Nesta and Sebastian Giovinko. The next will really be Lorenzo Insane?

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