February 13, 2009 / 10:52 AM / 11 years ago

Former Italy midfielder Bulgarelli dies aged 68

ROME (Reuters) - Former Italy and Bologna midfielder Giacomo Bulgarelli has died aged 68 after a long illness.

“So now he’ll only play in heaven,” read a statement on the Serie A club’s website (www.bolognafc.it). “Giacomo Bulgarelli passed away yesterday. He was 68 and our standard bearer.”

Bulgarelli collected 29 caps for Italy between 1962 and 1967, scoring seven goals.

He was the captain of the side that suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat to North Korea to crash out of the 1966 World Cup, although he came off injured with the score at 0-0.

He was also part of Italy’s 1968 European Championship winning squad, although he did not feature in any of the matches in the tournament finals.

Bulgarelli played the whole of his career, which spanned from 1958 to 1975, for Bologna.

He helped them to their seventh Serie A title in the 1963-64 season and holds the club record for appearances with 486, 391 of which were in the top flight.

Reporting by Paul Virgo, editing by Justin Palmer

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