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Inter hero Bellugi passes away

Former FC Internazionale Milano and Italy defender Mauro Bellugi has died at the age of 71.

Mauro Bellugi in action for Italy against Finland in Turin in 1977
Mauro Bellugi in action for Italy against Finland in Turin in 1977 Icon Sport via Getty Images

Bellugi, who turned 71 on 7 February, played for Inter from 1969 until 1974 and scored one goal, against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1971/72 European Cup, in 140 appearances with the Nerazzurri in all competitions.

He had both his legs amputated in December following complications arising from COVID-19.

Minute's silence

All Serie A games in Italy this weekend are observing a minute of silence before kick-off to honour Bellugi. “The news brings great pain to Italian football,” said the president of the Italian Football Association (FIGC), Gabriele Gravina.

“Mauro was a hero. In addition to his skills on the pitch, I appreciated his human qualities and his extraordinary strength of mind, especially in this period of suffering.”

Capped 32 times for Italy between 1972 and 1980, Bellugi won one Scudetto with Inter in 1970/71. He also played for Napoli, Bologna and Pistoiese during his career.