In the early 90s, Andrea Fortunato was one of the brightest young talents in Italian football. The left-back earned himself a transfer to Juventus in 1993, as Giovanni Trapattoni recognized him as the natural heir for the legendary Antonio Cabrini.
Tragically, he was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1994, and eventually passed away on the 25th of April 1995, aged 23.
According to Salernitananews via ilBianconero, Salernitana and Juventus will pay tribute to Fortunato in amicable gesture before Tuesday’s kickoff.
The two sides will meet at the Arechi Stadium in Salerno this evening, and the source reveals that Salernitana’s CEO Daniele Iervolino and Juventus CFO Francesco Calvo will exchange jerseys with the number 3 on the back, in the memory of Andrea.
Although Fortunato never played for Salernitana, he was born and raised in Salerno, which explains the city’s affection towards the late footballer.
The once-promising fullback started his career at Como where he rose through the youth ranks to become a member of the first team. He then made the switch to Genoa in 1991, but spent a campaign on loan with Serie B side Pisa.
Fortunato then won himself additional plaudits with a solid 1992/93 campaign at the Marassi Stadium, which eventually earned him a transfer to Juventus in the following summer.
Sad story I had no idea he was ill at the time. I remember him as being a reassuring presence. RIP