The question was on the lips of many a Benevento fan and those of the wider Serie A circle alike, who would score the clubs historic first goal in the top tier of the Italian game?
88 years the club from Campania had been waiting for this moment. 88 years of wondering and doubting if it would ever happen. Indeed, it was only last season that the club scored its first goal in Serie B, a 23rd minute strike from the penalty spot by the relatively unknown Amato Ciciretti.
Seven days off a year later young Ciciretti would also take to the field in another momentous occasion for the club and for the Roman native lightning would most certainly strike twice. With 15 minutes on the clock at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa the 23-year-old made a run from deep, left completely untracked the attacking midfielder picked up a cross from the left just to the right-hand side of the D. Controlling it with grace his first touch allowed him to advance into the area, with one Sampdoria defender in front of him Ciciretti shifted the ball onto his left foot, from an observers point of view it looked as if Amato’s best option was to dink the ball across the six yard box. Instead with the confidence of a man who has been playing at this level for years the Benevento attacker used the Samp defender as a shield to block the keepers view before clipping the ball around him and into the bottom left corner.
The mighty Stregoni were leading 1-0 and for the second time in the space of a year Amato Ciciretti had scored his clubs historic first goal at a new level. Despite having been capped at under 18 and 19 level for Italy Ciciretti is not exactly a name tipped to be the future of Italian football. Having come through the Roma youth system, winning both the Allievi Nazionalli and Primavera titles with the Lupi, Ciciretti experienced his first taste of adult football whilst on loan at Carrarese in Serie C. It was to be a baptism of fire for the youngster, making 19 appearances in the league the player failed to hit the target even once as the Azzurri finished bottom of the table.
While the Tuscan outfit would later earn a reprieve from relegation Amato would not be around to witness it as he was quickly shipped out on another loan deal, this time with L’Aquila also of Serie C. With a year under his belt at the level Ciciretti improved this time playing 22 times scoring once as the Eagles finished fifth, eventually losing in the play-offs to Pisa.
Getting used to the journeyman lifestyle Ciciretti packed his bags once again for the 2014/15 season and it was back to Tuscany, this time with the newly promoted Pistoiese. His spell with the Arancioni was however brief lasting only nine matches before switching to Messina in January. From there to the remainder of the season he would play a further 19 matches scoring three times.
For the 2015/16 season Amato would finally find a permanent home and once again it was below the Mezzogiorno with Benevento. From here he has flourished earning promotions from both Serie C and Serie B with the Witches.
A connoisseur of tattoos with most of his torso covered in ink, one in particular earned him fame in Italy and beyond. After joining Twitter on New Year’s Eve 2016, also his birthday, Ciciretti put forward the wager that if his tweet was retweeted 500 times he would get the company’s logo tattooed onto him along with his handle. Needless to say, the tweet got its 500 hundred retweets and being a man of his word Ciciretti followed through on his promised and got the logo inked onto his leg.
At 23 Amato Ciciretti still has plenty of time to develop as a footballer and if he keeps scoring goals of the calibre that he did last Sunday his stay in Serie A may be a long a fruitful one no matter what the outcome for Benevento at the seasons end.