Parma, 27 January 2022 – One year ago, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a cobblestone plaque was unveiled on Piazzale Risorgimento at the entrance to the Stadio Ennio Tardini. It was dedicated to Renzo Cavallina, who played for Parma in the 1940s.

From that day on, Parma Calcio 1913 vowed to make sure that his story would never be forgotten, transmitting its values to the community in the process. He will be remembered every year on 27 January.

Therefore, this morning, at the same spot, the Crociati’s first-team and Primavera goalkeepers (Gianluigi Buffon, Simone Colombi, Martin Turk, Bartlomiej Maliszewski and Alberto Rossi) took part in a commemoration ceremony alongside Cavallina’s grandchildren, Letizia and Raffaella Calestani.

Stefano Perrone and Giuseppe Squarcia, the Club’s Director of Operations and Philanthropy Manager respectively, talked about the duty to remember.

Renzo Cavallina was a legendary goalkeeper who played for Parma both before and after the Second World War.

Nicknamed the ‘gatto magico’ (‘magic cat’) by the fans, he took to the pitch around 50 times for the Crociati, was involved in a historic 4-0 Derby victory over Reggiana and was also one of the star players in our team’s promotion to Serie B in 1943.

Due to the war, however, football was suspended and young men were called to arms. Nevertheless, Renzo Cavallina, a soldier and Italian citizen, refused to enlist for the Italian Social Republic and fight alongside the Nazis after the armistice of 8 September 1943. It was a brave decision, one which led to him becoming an Italian military internee and ending up at the Stalag IIID prisoner-of-war camp in Berlin.

Cavallina survived this arduous experience and returned to Italy in the summer of 1945, resuming his Parma career. On 14 October that year, he found himself in between the sticks again as the Crociati took on Udinese at the beginning of the Serie B-C Alta Italia season.