You will not recognise the well chiselled face of this young man, but you will know his voice….

Actually let me clarify that. Not even his voice, but maybe one single word.

Before I get to that word though, a quick bio about the man…

The subject today is José Altafini, a Brazilian born Italian.

“Altafini played for Palmeiras in Brazil, before he began his career in Italy with AC Milan in 1958. He made his debut on September 21, 1958, and, in his first season, played 32 games and scored 28 goals, winning the title along the way. Milan won the title again in 1962, when Altafini was the league’s joint top scorer with 22 goals in 33 games.

In 1965, Altafini joined Napoli, where he stayed until 1972. After his time at Napoli he joined Juventus.

By the time he left Juventus in 1976, Altafini had played 459 games in Serie A and had scored 216 goals.”

As well as all this Altafini had the rare distinction of playing for the Brazilian and then the Italian national team. This was in the days before they changed the rules. Plus he became a naturalised Italian which helped.

After his retirement Altafini eventually became a pundit on Sky Italia, which is where that word comes into play…

The word ? Well in the UK in the 90’s everybody was given a bad translation.

It wasn’t:

Channel 4 Football Italia title page
It was in fact:


But… that Portuguese word doesn’t actually translate to Italian too well.
– This is from an old Guardian Football Weekly podcast, where James Richardson, the presenter of Channel 4’s Football Italia answers a question about the sample used in the programme’s title:

Guardian Football Weekly Podcast

Before the Football Italia theme, the co-creator Steve Duberry was in a band called Definitive Two who’s total output was this one release in 1992:


» Definitive Two – I’m Stronger Now

As you can hear it is a very familiar tune.

Duberry then took this, along with a sample of Altafini first used by J. Saul Kane in this Depth Charge single done two years earlier and came up with:

Football Italia

» Channel 4 Football Italia Theme

So there you have it, Jose Altafini sampled.

But you know that’s not the real reason why we are here and I’m writing about him. Yes that’s right he did the same as Chinaglia and recorded a song:


» Jose Altafini – La Rosa

If you want to have a further laugh then have a read of the (Google Translated) lyrics here.

To finish off we’ll go back to Football Italia and this video of the best goals from the ’94-95 season:

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