Our friend Stefano Balducci has passed away. Gravina: “I want to remember him for his love for the Azzurri shirt and the FIGC”

He arrived at the Federation in 1991: he was Deputy Head of the Press Office alongside Antonello Valentini and then Head of TV Rights

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Our friend Stefano Balducci has passed away. Gravina: “I want to remember him for his love for the Azzurri shirt and the FIGC”

Today is a very sad day for the FIGC. It is one of those articles that we never wanted to write. A great friend has left us, a friend of everyone, one of those people who will stay with you forever. Stefano Balducci, a professional journalist, was 67 years old in February. He had arrived in 1991 at the Federation as part of the press office after having been with the Italian National Olympic Committee and having fulfilled the role of Head of the Italian Tennis Federation Press Office. Since then, he has always been at the side of Antonello Valentini, of whom he was a faithful deputy and with whom he shared years of pride and joy, though also many difficult moments. He then took charge of the FIGC TV Rights Office and was responsible for the organisation of many European and World Championship expeditions.

FIGC President Gabriele Gravina made the following comments: "On such a sad day I want to remember Stefano with the passion and availability that, for the many years he was part of the Federation, he always showed towards the development of the young people with whom he worked. An entire generation of colleagues owes him the most important lesson: the love and enthusiasm for the Azzurri jersey and the FIGC. He leaves an unbridgeable void in all those who appreciated him for his professional skills, but above all for his extraordinary humanity”.

Stefano had what it took to be a leader, but he was one of us. He was a special leader, and he never let his role weigh him down. He was a teacher, a point of reference, especially for young people because he knew how to deal with them - he understood them, and he helped them. He was always available to everyone, and many of us have become what we are today thanks to him, his teachings and his example.

He loved his job and he loved the Federation, which he left a few years ago to pursue another dream, that of teaching at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan and at the Università degli Studi di Perugia as a communications expert. He also left to devote himself to golf, his great passion, and to spend more time, after years of travelling around the world, next to his wife Mariella and sons Lorenzo and Davide.

His sudden death struck everyone with a heavy blow. Yesterday evening many colleagues saw him enter through the doors of Casa Azzurri, the place that for years was also his home, the spot where he celebrated many victories with us and where he shared the less positive moments too. Everyone welcomed him warmly as one of us, because Stefano was, and will be, this way forever.

The funeral will take place on Thursday morning at 10:00 CEST in the Chiesa di San Cleto in Via Bernardo Bernardini 70, Rome.