Bruno Bolchi, the first footballer to be immortalized in a Panini picture, is dead. The former Inter Milan captain died on Tuesday evening at the age of 82 in a hospital in Florence.
Bolchi was known as "Adam the sticker", as the
Gazzetta dello Sport
The sticker with his face from 1961 is one of the most coveted by collectors.
According to eyewitnesses, it became "number one" when the Panini brothers Giuseppe and Franco presented their plan to printers using a black-and-white photo of Bolchi as a template.
In 1961, Panini published the first football collection album with stickers entitled “Grande Raccolta Figurine Calciatori”, which included players from the Italian Serie A. In addition to Bolchi, the later Bayern coach Giovanni Trapattoni (83) was one of them.
Panini commemorated Bolchi on Wednesday with a tweet, which recalled the special position of the Inter captain for the picture empire and thanked him with the obituary: "Ciao 'Maciste'".
Born in Milan in 1940, Bolchi made his professional debut at Inter at the age of 18.
He played six seasons for the "Nerazzurri" (the Black Blues) and achieved remarkable results.
He won the Italian championship with Inter in 1963 and won the European Cup in 1964.
He later played for Hellas Verona, Atalanta Bergamo and Torino, with whom he won the 1968 Coppa Italia.
He was nicknamed "Maciste" because of his sturdy build and tough style.
Maciste is a heroic character with Hercules-like powers from the story of Carthage invented by the Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio.
He began his coaching career in 1971 with Pro Patria in the sixth division.
In 1982 he made it into Serie A for the first time, but was unable to save Cesena from relegation.
The Panini Group, an Italian company based in Modena, is known worldwide for its trading cards and World Cup sticker albums, which have been published for every tournament since 1970.
The portraits of the stars are also very popular in the run-up to the World Cup in Qatar.