Forgotten Blues: Marco Ambrosio

Italian goalkeepers at Chelsea. One player should come to mind; Carlo Cudicini. This week’s player is not him. The player we’re taking a look at isn’t as fondly remembered as Cudicini is.

The player in question only spent a season in West London before departing.

This week’s Forgotten Blue is Marco Ambrosio.

Ambrosio’s early career was spent at a number of clubs across his native Italy. He played for the likes of Lumezzanne, Pisa, AC Prato, and Ravenna in Italy’s lower tiers, before earning a move to Serie A side Sampdoria. However, he wasn’t at the club long before he signed for Serie C1 team Lucchese.

He spent two years at the club before being sold. He returned to Italy’s top tier and signed for recently promoted side Chievo. The goalkeeper struggled for regular first team action, and only played 10 league games across two seasons at the club.

In June 2003, he made his first move outside Italy, and signed for Chelsea. Blues’ manager Claudio Ranieri signed him to act as a back up to first choice Cudicini.

As an understudy to the already established Cudicini, Ambrosio found game opportunities hard to come by. He made his debut for Chelsea in a League Cup tie against Notts County, in which he made a number of errors. His next appearance, however, saw the Italian much more comfortable in goal, and made a number of fine saves.

Injuries to Cudicini and Jurgen Macho meant Ambrosio was given an extended run in the Chelsea team. Arguably Ambrosio’s biggest contribution during his time at Stamford Bridge was the second leg tie against Arsenal in the Champions League. His saves helped the Blues win 2-1 at Highbury, and progress into the semi-finals of the competition.

Cudicini soon returned to full fitness, so Ambrosio lost his place. He ended the season with eight league appearances to his name. The signing of Petr Cech in the summer of 2004 meant the Italian was no longer needed at Stamford Bridge, and was allowed to leave the club on a free.

After leaving West London, Ambrosio signed for Swiss club Grasshopper. His time in Switzerland didn’t last long, however, and he soon returned to Italy.

In the tail end of his career, Ambrosio moved across Italy again, playing for a number of clubs. He went on to play for Salernitana, Brescia, Reggiana, and FeralpiSalo.

He announced his retirement in 2009.