The LEN Family is in mourning upon learning that Italian water polo great Mario Scotti Galletta passed away.
He was an iconic goalie in the 70s, the pinnacle of his career came in Berlin 1978 when Italy clinched the world title after upsetting the era’s superpowers, Hungary, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Though Mario’s only regret was that he had never been picked for the Olympics, still, his outstanding successes at club level were more than a great compensation. He was part of four title-winning campaigns of Canottieri Napoli and led his side to a European Champions Cup triumph too (now Champions League).
Beyond his great playing career, he is considered the father of women water polo in Italy. After watching matches in the Netherlands, he committed himself to create a female water polo team back home. Soon it became a serious initiative, gained support from the federation and in 1985 the inaugural women’s league kicked off. Later he served as an assistant coach beside Giuseppe Formiconi at the Italian national team, from 1994 to 1997. Two years ago he was awarded the highest Italian honour in sport, Collare d’Oro al Merito Sportivo (the Golden Collar of Sporting Merit).
The LEN Family sends its heartfelt condolences to Mario’s family and the Italian aquatic community.