Lolly Debattista

Emmanuel Debattista, better known as Lolly Debattista (born (1929-12-21)21 December 1929)[1][2] is a Maltese former footballer player and manager. A one-club man, he spent his whole career playing as a defender for Floriana.

Lolli Debattista
Personal information
Full name Emmanuel Debattista
Date of birth (1929-12-21) 21 December 1929[1][2]
Place of birth Malta
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1947–67 Floriana[2]
National team
1957–62 Malta 3 (0)
Teams managed
1975–76 Ħamrun Spartans[2]
1976–79 Valletta[2]
1991–93 Ħamrun Spartans[2]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only



Debattista began his career with Floriana Ajax, a youth team that was annexed in the 1948–49 season by Floriana. After the juniors won two prestigious victories against arch-rivals Sliema Wanderers (including a 5–0 victory), some were promoted permanently to the senior team.

Debattista played for Floriana for his entire playing career, which ended in 1967.[2] During his career, the Evergreens won the Maltese Premier League seven times and the Maltese FA Trophy nine times.


Debattista played three times for the Maltese national football team,[2] including the first ever match against Austria played on 24 February 1957. His first international match was the European Championship qualifier against Denmark, which Malta lost 1–6.[3]


Debattista began coaching at youth level for Floriana, and later was assistant coach of the first team under the leadership of his cousin Lolly Borg, in the 1961–62 season. In 1975, Debattista became head coach of the Ħamrun Spartans, with whom in his first season they gained promotion to the Maltese Premier League. In December 1976, he was hired by Valletta, where he reached the cup finals twice in a row, defeating his old club Floriana on both occasions. He also won the league title for the 1977–78 season.

Career statistics



Malta national team




  1. "The Story of Lolly Debattista: First player to be awarded the Footballer of the Year award by the MFA". Malta Independent. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  2. "Lolly Debattista". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. "Profile". Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  4. "Lolly Debattista". Retrieved 19 August 2018.
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