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Societa Italiana Osteoporosi e Malattie Metabolismo Minerale e Scheletrico (SIOMMMS)

Soccer legend Paolo Rossi and other leading sport figures support World Osteoporosis Day event and launch of ‘Osteoporosis in Men’ report

Paolo Rossi, the Italian soccer legend renowned for scoring the way to Italy’s World Cup victory in 1982, spoke at a World Osteoporosis Day event on October 18, 2004 in Florence to highlight the problem of osteoporosis in men. Speaking to journalists gathered at Florence’s Museum of Soccer, Rossi said, “I have a family predisposition for this disease- this is another reason why I want to improve my understanding and awareness of osteoporosis and its prevention. All men should be aware that they could be at risk of osteoporosis.” Rossi encouraged people to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin D and to practice a healthy lifestyle based on physical exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and no smoking.

The slogan for the World Osteoporosis Day press event - “Il Calcio è di Rigore”- is a clever play on words: ‘Calcio’ means both ‘calcium’ and ‘soccer’; ‘rigore’ both ‘necessary’ and ‘penalty kick’. There is in fact a link between the risk of osteoporosis and soccer. Soccer players are considered at higher risk of osteoporosis because of the continuous stress and damage to the cartilage of the knees. The pain and inflammation often results in long-term treatment with cortisones which damages bone strength. Those with a family history of osteoporosis are of course at even higher risk of the disease.

The press conference attracted leading Italian TV and print media

The most important TV and radio stations as well as the leading Italian newspapers attended the high-profile event, which was held with the support of the Association of Italian Soccer Players. Speakers included Prof. Enrico Castellacci (physician to the Italian National Soccer Team), Dr. Fino Fini (Director of the Soccer Museum in Florence) and Sergio Campana (President of the Italian Association of Soccer Players). In addition to Paolo Rossi, other prominent sporting figures present at the event included World Champion soccer player Giancarlo Antognoni and other players from the current team ‘Fiorentina’.

Medical experts presenting at the event included Prof. Gianfranco Gensini (President of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Florence) and Prof. Maria Luisa Brandi (osteoporosis expert and member of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisors). Prof. Brandi announced an important clinical development: a diagnostic kit to measure the functionality of the protein “ER alpha” to help assess the predisposition and gravity of osteoporosis in patients. The novel diagnostic tool results from research carried out by Prof. Brandi’s group in 2000, which was consequently confirmed in studies on 20,000 patients in seven European countries. She also announced the creation of the first Italian masters course and certification in bone mineral metabolism. The one-year masters course for doctors ‘Malattie Metaboliche dell’Osso: dal gene alla cura’ will be held at the University of Florence.

Speakers podium at press conference

ML Brandi presents 'Osteoporosis in Men' report

As a follow up to the successful event, Paolo Rossi and Prof. Maria Luisa Brandi are invited guests on the major TV program ‘Uno Mattina’ aired on Rai Uno on Sunday October 24, 2004.

On the soccer field: from left IOF representative Ilaria Carpentier, Stefano Gabbrielli, General Manager of ENIC s.r.l.; Prof. Maria Luisa Brandi; Paolo Rossi; Dr. Marino Bartoletti, Coordinator of the conference; Dr. Fino Fini, Director of the Soccer Museum


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