Giorgio Chinaglia, 65, an Italian soccer great who was a star with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, died Sunday at his home in Naples, Fla., after suffering a heart attack, his family announced.
Chinaglia helped the Lazio club team win its first Italian title in 1974 and served as its president from 1983 to '85. He played for Italy in the 1974 World Cup.
In 1976, he joined the Cosmos and became the power scorer in a lineup that featured the finesse of Pele and the calculating play of Franz Beckenbauer.
Chinaglia was the leading scorer in the history of the North American Soccer League, with 262 goals in his eight seasons for the Cosmos.
In 2000, Chinaglia was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame and chosen the greatest player in Lazio's history during the club's centenary celebrations.
Chinaglia was born Jan. 24, 1947, in Tuscany, but his family soon moved to Wales, where he began his soccer career with Swansea.
Chinaglia returned to Italy with the small Tuscan club Massese in 1966 and eventually joined Lazio in 1969, going on to score 98 goals in 209 matches for the Roman team. Italian fans nicknamed him Long John for his Welsh past.
He had lived in the United States since facing accusations in Rome of involvement in an organized crime group that allegedly tried to buy Lazio in 2006.
That year Chinaglia became host of "The Football Show" on SiriusXM satellite radio.
Times staff and wire reports