Lorenzo Pier Paolo Amoruso (born 28 June 1971) is an Italian former footballer who played as a defender for seven teams in Italy, Scotland, England, and San Marino during his footballing career, but is perhaps best known for his six-year spell with Glasgow side Rangers. In that six-year spell, he won nine major honours with the club including domestic trebles in the 1998–99 and 2002–03 seasons, representing the side on more than 150 occasions in competitive football.
|Full name||Lorenzo Pier Luigi Amoruso|
|Date of birth||28 June 1971|
|Place of birth||Bari, Italy|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1991–1992||→ Mantova (loan)||13||(1)|
|1992–1993||→ Pescara (loan)||19||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Amoruso began his career at local club, Bari, in 1988, for whom he went on to make 75 appearances, scoring 8 goals. Amoruso spent 1991-1993 on loan at Mantova and Pescara, but only featured intermittently. In 1995, he secured a move to Fiorentina, becoming club captain and making 54 appearances. He won the Coppa Italia in 1996 and in 1997 the Florence side went on a remarkable run in Europe where they reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup only to lose out to eventual champions Barcelona.
Following interest from Manchester United, Amoruso signed for Rangers on 29 May 1997 for a fee of £4 million. Whilst with the club he won the Scottish Premier League on three occasions, as well as the Scottish Cup three times and the Scottish League Cup three times. After missing most of his debut season with an Achilles tendon injury, he was installed as captain of Rangers by Dick Advocaat in 1998. After returning to the team Amoruso was booed by Rangers fans after several poor displays and tactical errors. Amoruso also clashed with the manager several times, resulting in an eventually aborted move to Sunderland. Advocaat began to sign defenders to replace Amoruso, including Bert Konterman for example and Paul Ritchie, but the Italian remained after his replacements failed. Ritchie did not make a single appearance and Konterman was criticised to begin with, but, like Amoruso, he eventually found his way into the hearts of the fans.
In December 1999, Amoruso issued a public apology after directing racist comments at Borussia Dortmund's Nigerian striker Victor Ikpeba. Earlier that day Amoruso's denied the allegations and threatened legal action in an interview to Corriere dello Sport – Stadio (an Italian daily sports paper). The denials were described as "vehement" by the Daily Mail. He was later forced into a change of position, described as embarrassing by the Daily Mail and The Times, when TV footage contradicted his story. Subsequently, the BBC featured reports that Rangers supporters' racism had increased, in support of Amoruso.
In the 2000–01 season, when Rangers exited the UEFA Champions League to Monaco partly because of another bad mistake by Amoruso, he was stripped of the captaincy (which went to the 22-year-old Barry Ferguson). Amoruso had captained the club for two years, the first ever Catholic to do so. He was left humiliated by the demotion and later accused Advocaat of trying to destroy him.
After Dick Advocaat's October 2000 attack on what he described as "fat necks" in his squad, reports named the Italian as a probable target. More errors had seen Amoruso again booed by his own teams' supporters.
Advocaat was later removed as manager and Amoruso rediscovered his form under new boss Alex McLeish; winning the 2002 Scottish PFA Players' Player of the Year. After a four-match ban for spitting on James Grady, he scored the winning goal in his final game for Rangers—the 2003 Scottish Cup final—and wept as he left the pitch.
Amoruso left Rangers in July 2003 to make a £1.4 million move to Blackburn, who wanted him as a replacement for Henning Berg. The sale was forced by Rangers' large debts. His Blackburn debut came on 16 August 2003. On the pitch for the full ninety minutes, his place in the team appeared justified as he scored the opening goal after 17 minutes. In October, a knee injury kept him out of the game for five months. As he returned and came into the team on a sporadic basis playing only eighteen times for Blackburn. His 2004–05 season was marred by regular injuries and he did not play any part of the 2005–06 season. He was released by Rovers in the summer of 2006.
He was never selected by Italy at full international level, which Amoruso attributed to a "strange mentality" pervading his homeland. He blamed Giovanni Trapattoni, Cesare Maldini and Dino Zoff for failing to provide him with the call-up he felt he deserved.
On 15 September 2010, Amoruso was hired by his former club Fiorentina as a scout for the first team. After almost two years with the club, he stepped down from his role.
- Mitropa Cup: 1990
- Scottish Premier League: 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2002–03
- Scottish Cup: 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03
- Scottish League Cup: 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03
- "Player Profile: Lorenzo Amoruso". Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Powell, Jeff (30 May 1997). "Everton chasing Souness". Daily Mail. London.
- "GO EASY ON THE AMO; Gough spares a thought for Lorenzo's toil". Daily Record. 3 November 1998. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Mike Wade (9 September 2000). "Ritchie the Maine attraction puts Ibrox flop behind him". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Jardine, Peter (9 December 2000). "Advocaat's defence of A SQUAD THAT just can't meet great EXPECTATIONS; Reality check needed if you believe Rangers can be Europe's best". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Leggit, David (21 April 2001). "Football: BERT GETS A BASHING; Rangers 0 Dundee 2 Utd Fans go mad at top flop". The People. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- "Amoruso in race comment about-turn". BBC Sport. 10 December 1999. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- Ian McGarry (10 September 2000). "Clear conscience; Amoruso on the defensive in wake of racist smear". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Gordon, Phil (10 December 2000). "Amoruso admits racist taunts". The Times.
- Hannah, Roger (10 December 2000). "Disgraceful in anyone's language..." Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Roger Hannah (10 October 2000). "Guilty Amoruso is forced to apologise". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- "Fan's fear over 'racism at Rangers'". BBC News. 14 December 1999.
- Mark Guidi (13 July 2003). "Football: MY HEART WILL ALWAYS BE AT GERS; Big Amo signs off". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- FOOTBALL: Advocaat tore off armband and ripped out my heart; ADAPTED from LA CONFIDENTIAL: The Lorenzo Amoruso Story by David McCarthy and Keith Jackson priced pounds 9.99
- Mark Guidi (24 October 2004). "It would've been hard to play for a gaffer who set out to destroy me". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Jardine, Peter (24 October 2000). "Rangers need to be hungry again". The Daily Mail.
- Colin Duncan (13 December 2000). "Football: THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF LORENZO". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- Stephen Halliday (19 March 2003). "Amoruso banned for four games for spitting". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
- "Lorenzo Amoruso: Joining Rangers was 'an opportunity I couldn't miss'". Planet Football. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
- "Blackburn sign Amoruso". BBC Sport. 14 July 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "Rangers could lose Ferguson". BBC Sport. 15 August 2003. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
- "Cosmos starstruck by Amoruso arrival". UEFA website. 14 February 2008.
- "Football: AMO IS CUP AGAINST IT FOR A CAP". Sunday Mail. 17 February 2002.
- "AMO: BOB CAN DO A JOB AFTER HIS CAP CALL-UP". Sunday Mail. 9 February 2003.
- "Blackburn star: I may give Vogts more Amo". Liverpool Echo. 17 February 2004.
- Angelo Carotenuto (5 February 2016). "Lorenzo Amoruso: "Italian bastard a me?"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- Aiden Cusick (22 March 2017). "Rangers legend Lorenzo Amoruso posts message on Instagram a month after criticising club's players, fans respond in numbers". www.hitc.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.