First you had Gianluca Vialli, then you had Gianfranco Zola; Italians coming to England were having a great time and in 2001 Blackburn Rovers decided to get in on the act, signing Corrado Grabbi from Ternana for a fee of £6.75 million, 2 goals in 30 matches were all he could muster during his time in England, that’s £3.38m per goal.
Somewhat of a journeyman player, he began his career in the Juventus youth side and on his debut for the first team against Lazio, he scored, one of his total two appearances in the 1994-1995 season. Despite a great start he failed to cement a place in the squad as was loaned from Juventus to Lucchese and then Chievo, despite a poor goal scoring record Modena took him off Juve’s hands in 1996 where he found his goal scoring prowess.
Ternana were quick to snap up Grabbi but he couldn’t replicate his Modena form and was loaned to Ravenna after only one season, 13 goals in 29 games for Ravenna was a decent return and he was duly welcomed back to Ternana with open arms.
Back at Ternana he was again a regular scorer, with 91 goals in 84 games and became idol for the local supporters, who still remember him as the best player to ever have played for Ternana.
This amazing form alerted the likes of AC Milan and Juventus, however it was the lure of Premier League football that swayed Grabbi and he joined Blackburn Rovers for £6.75 million. Injury and personal problems blighted his Rovers career, 2 goals later he was on his way back to Italy on loan with Messina. Failure to reignite his career upon return to England resulted in a permanent transfer to Ancona.
In an interview with an Italian TV Station, Grabbi stated that he was finding it hard to acclimatise himself to the British weather and game, and also said that he was finding it hard to fit in with the team. The team was accused of singling him out, and not being friendly to him, which also accounted for Blackburn’s slump in form.
In the same interview, Grabbi stated that the only person who he became friends with in this time was Tugay Kerimoğlu.
After 7 games with Ancona and a year out the game he signed with Genoa in the third tier of the Italian league system, scoring 9 goals in Genoa’s promotion campaign. After promotion Grabbi considered retirement after a number of injury concerns, but was persuaded to stay on by fellow players and the Genoa fans, but he was sold during the transfer window in 2006 to Arezzo. A half season with them and he moved for the final time in his career to Swiss second division side AC Bellinzona.
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