Golden Greats (1 Viewer)

dpforever

Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
3,794
#1
Serie A has been graced with some outstanding talents over the years. Platini, Rossi, Maradona, Zoff, and Van Basten to name a few. Did you miss watching these stars shine at the SerieA, then read about them closely as we unfold the history pages of these golden greats.
 
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dpforever

dpforever

Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
3,794
#2
Prince Pablito

Paolo Rossi was the man who, in 1982, won Italy the World Cup for a third time. En route to the final his goals shot down Brazil and Poland. In the final against West Germany it was Rossi who scored the first of Italy’s three goals. The striker from Tuscany finished as the 1982 World Cup’s top scorer - not bad considering he failed to score in the first four games.

His exploits in Spain earned him a place in Italian football’s hall of fame. Yet Rossi was fortunate to be involved in that World Cup. In 1979, a year after catching the eye during the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, Rossi was caught up in a match-betting scandal that rocked the Italian game. The striker, who was playing for Perugia, was one of several players accused of fixing a 2-2 draw with Avellino. Rossi was banned for three years although it was reduced to two on appeal.

The ban was lifted just two months before the 1982 World Cup. Nobody in Italy expected Enzo Bearzot, the Italian Coach, to select Rossi who surely lacked match fitness. But the pipe-smoking Bearzot, remembering Rossi’s wonderful contribution to Italy’s excellent ‘78 campaign, gambled on the striker who had signed for Juventus just before the ban was imposed.

At first it seemed Bearzot had made a terrible mistake. Rossi failed to score in Italy’s opener against Poland (0-0). In the second match against Peru (1-1) he was substituted early in the second half after a dreadful first 45 minutes. And he again fired blanks in the third match against Cameroon (1-1). The Azzurri scraped into the second phase on goal difference. By now the hysterical Italian Press were calling for Rossi’s exclusion and Bearzot’s head.

To reach the last four Italy had to play holders Argentina and favourites Brazil. Against Argentina, Rossi failed to break his scoring duck but he had a good game and Italy won 2-1. So against Brazil, who had beaten their South American rivals 3-1, the Azzurri had to win to make the semi-finals. Brazil needed only a draw.

This was the match in which ‘Pablito’ - his nickname following the 1978 World Cup in Argentina - exploded into life. In one of the greatest games of all time Rossi hit a sensational hat-trick that dumped the brilliant Brazilians out of the tournament. First he headed Italy ahead after five minutes. Brazil equalised. Then he capitalised on a Brazilian mistake and blasted Italy into a 2-1 lead. Brazil again equalised, but they had no response to his third goal 15 minutes from time.

Not surprisingly, he chose his first goal against Brazil as one of the most important he has ever scored. "It freed me psychologically and also increased my motivation," he said. "Like all strikers, once you get a goal you want more as soon as possible."

In the semi-final, against Poland, Rossi scored both goals in a 2-0 win. In the final Rossi, almost inevitably, grabbed the first goal in a memorable 3-1 win. Later that year he was named European Footballer of the Year - after a lot of Italian journalists were made to eat humble pie.


Rossi's journey in Serie A

Rossi learned his trade at Juventus but even before he celebrated his 18th birthday his football career was in jeopardy after he had cartilages from both knees removed. He was loaned to Como and it was with the Lombardy minnows that he made his Serie A debut in November 1975.

Then Juventus sold a half-share in Rossi to Serie B club Vicenza and it was there he made his name. In his first season with the Biancorossi, in 1976-77, his 21 goals helped Vicenza win promotion to Serie A. The following season Rossi and Vicenza proved to be the revelations of Serie A. Rossi was capocannoniere with 24 goals. Newly-promoted Vicenza, coached by Gian Battista Fabri, finished second to Juventus.

That season Rossi won his first cap for Italy in a 1-0 victory over Belgium in Liege while Vicenza bought out Juve’s share in Rossi for a then-staggering £1.75m, a deal that nearly ruined the club. After a slightly disappointing 1979-80 season, Rossi scored 15 goals. They were not enough to stop Vicenza falling into Serie B and he was loaned to Perugia. There, apart from finding himself embroiled in a match-rigging scandal, he netted 13 goals in 28 games.

Before his two-year ban was announced Juventus bought Rossi for a cut-price £600,000 from Vicenza. It was a shrewd business move. Not only did they make £1.15m profit, but after the 1982 World Cup the Bianconeri owned one of the hottest properties in world football.

In Turin ‘Pablito’ won more trophies - the Coppa Italia in 1983, Lo Scudetto and the Cup-Winners’ Cup in 1984 and the European Cup in 1985. By now Rossi, wearing the red and black of Milan, was a shadow of the player of 1982. He had scored only two goals for Milan in the 1985-86 season and his inclusion in the 1986 World Cup squad was more for morale than form. After he returned from Mexico he was transferred to Verona. Rossi was still only 29 but this was to be his last port of call. Injuries had returned to plague him, just as they did when he was a teenager.

He kicked his last ball in April 1987 in Verona’s 3-0 win over Diego Maradona’s Napoli. It was a fitting end for Rossi since Napoli would win the title that season.


STAR RATING

9/10 A striker who could score goals and was also blessed with wonderful all-round skills. His goals won Italy the World Cup. As a result, he became a legendary figure in the Italian game.


Paolo Rossi
Born : Prato, 23/9/56
Position : Striker
Serie A debut : Perugia 2-0 Como, 9/11/75
Last Serie A match : Verona 3-0 Napoli, 12/4/87
Clubs : Como, Vicenza, Perugia, Juventus, Milan, Verona
Honours : 2 Scudetto 1982, 84; 1 Coppa Italia 1983; 1 Cup-Winners’ Cup 1984; 1 Supercup 1984; 1 European Cup 1985; 1 World Cup 1982; European Footballer of the Year 1982
International debut : Belgium 0-1 Italy, 21/12/77
Last international match : Italy 2-0 China, 11/5/86
International apps : 48
International goals : 20


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Source: Football Italia.
 

mate

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2002
1,685
#5
Greate idea this trade!:D If you'll find some video especially about the Juve former players post it!:D Mostly I wuoul like to see Platinì... they never schow his goals in the TV :confused: .
 
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dpforever

dpforever

Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
3,794
#6
Dutch Master

When it comes to scoring goals in the modern era there has never been a player like Marco Van Basten. Over six stunning seasons the Milan man confirmed himself the most complete striker of the past two decades. And it brought him his fair share of honours.

The Dutch genius started his career with Ajax where he was thrown into the first team as a teenager. It is a mark of his quality that Johan Cruyff reckoned he was ready for his debut at the age of just 17. Strong in the air, deadly off either foot and with elegant skills he was a nightmare for any defender.

These qualities brought him a huge haul of domestic honours in Holland, but Milan magnate Silvio Berlusconi had bigger plans for him. The media millionaire was building a team of world-beaters at the San Siro and saw huge potential in Van Basten. Along with countrymen Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard he would help create the team of the decade.

Not that things started smoothly for the boy from Utrecht. A troublesome right ankle which would eventually finish his career ruined his first season in Italy. Indeed, there was plenty of speculation that Milan would rid themselves of the Dutch international who was out injured for six months of his first Serie A campaign.

But the Rossoneri had faith in Van Basten and that paid off big style. He helped them to three League titles, two European Cups, two Super Cups, two World Club Cups and was voted European Player of the Year three times in the space of just six years. It was little more than he deserved.

Of all three Dutchmen, the outstanding hitman was probably the best loved by the Milan supporters. They dubbed him ‘The White Swan ’ for his elegant approach to the game. Even thundering shots past opposition goalkeepers seemed effortless. The high points of his meteoric Italian career are too numerous to mention. But after helping his country to the European Nations title of 1988 - including his memorable acute angle volley against Russia - he enjoyed a real purple patch. He put breathtaking performances back-to-back season after season.

But his crippling injuries started to take their toll towards the end of 1993 and against Marseille in yet another European Cup final he played his final game for Milan. After surgery and several failed comebacks he was forced to admit defeat in 1995 - at the age of just 30. The football world had been robbed of one of its greatest talents. In an emotional Press conference he told the world of his decision to give up the game. Although his career was cut short Van Basten achieved more than most players would dream of.


Marco not ready yet to return

Van Basten has watched former teammates such as Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard stroll into management, and only listened patiently to those who covet his equally sharp footballing brain.

He considers himself still too young and too immature to give orders on the training ground. As for whether he will ever be ready to make a delayed transition from player to Coach, not even the man himself is sure.

"I had a good time, played until I was 28 and then had three difficult years with my ankle before I stopped being in football at 31. I still had problems with the ankle and had to resolve them. Now I’ve been doing nothing for three years - and really enjoying it. I feel happy and OK. I’m not too lazy to work. I just don’t feel something inside of me saying: ‘Let’s start doing something else now.’


Not a fan

Marco Van Basten’s reluctance to become involved in football again could be traced back to comments made earlier in his career. Then he said: "I found out that out of 10 so-called top Coaches, only one is really able to improve the team. Six do no harm and three even manage to make the team worse.’

STAR RATING

8/10. An incomparable record of success while revolutionising the role of the modern striker. Cruel injury robbed him of making an even bigger impact on the Italian game .


Marco Van Basten
Date of Birth: 31/10/64
Place of Birth: Utrecht, Holland
Serie A Career: Milan (87-95) - 147 games, 90 goals
Serie A top scorer: 1989-90, 1991-92
Honours:
3 Dutch League titles (1982, 1983, 1985)
3 Dutch Cups (1983, 1986, 1987)
1 Cup-Winners’ Cup (1987)
1 European Championship (1988)
1 Serie A Title (1988, 1992, 1993)
2 European Cups (1989, 1990)
2 European Super Cups (1990, 1991)
2 World Club Cups (1990, 1991)
2 Italian Super Cups (1989, 1993)
1 FIFA World Player of Year title (1992)
3 European Player of the Year titles (1988, 1989, 1992)

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Source: football italia.
 
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dpforever

dpforever

Prediction Game Champ 2003 & 2005
Jan 12, 2002
3,794
#7
Silver bullet


Signor Bettega was a player of immense intelligence and became one of the world’s most feared strikers. He was seen by many as the natural heir to West Germany’s Gerd Muller in the 1978 World Cup. He scored an incredible seven goals in the build-up to the semi-final defeat by Holland and along with Antognoni and Torino’s Francesco Graziani formed a deadly attacking trio.

His Azzurri debut came in a 1-0 defeat of Finland in June 1975, in the qualifying stages of the European Nations Cup of 1976. However, it wasn’t until two years later that he really made his international mark. Playing against Finland, this time in the qualifying rounds of the 1978 World Cup, Roberto and Italy ripped the Scandinavians apart in October 1977. Running them ragged Bettega scored the first, second, fourth and fifth in the 6-1 victory. It was all the more satisfying for Bettega as it was in front of his home crowd in Turin’s Stadio Comunale.

Born in that same city, he grew up with Juventus as a youngster when he joined their Primavera side in 1961. Like so many youngsters of today’s generation in Serie A, the forward needed match experience. After sitting on the bench in the 1968-69 campaign he was sent on loan to Varese in Serie B.

Starting his Juve career proper the following year, he made his top-flight debut in the 1-0 defeat of Sicilian side Catania on August 27, 1970. It was the start of a glorious 11-year career with the Old Lady that saw him pick up seven League titles under three different Coaches.

But not everything was going as it should. In January 1972, Bettega scored his tenth goal in 14 games to see off Fiorentina but ended the day in hospital with breathing difficulties. It was a problem that kept him away from the game for five months. But Bettega proved strong enough to return, just as he did in the early 1980s after rupturing knee ligaments in a European game against Anderlecht.


He was back for the 1972-73 season in which Juventus President Giampiero Boniperti said: "The best signing for this season will undoubtedly be Roberto Bettega." The League title brought a smile back to Bobby-gol’s face even if it turned sour in Europe when they were beaten by Ajax in the European Cup Final.

Carlo Parola took over as the Bianconeri Coach and they went on to win their third Scudetto of the 1970s with almost the exact side that had one the previous two titles. But it wasn’t until Giovanni Trapattoni took over as boss that Juve became the super side of the 1970s, providing nine of the side that took Italy as far as the semi-finals in the Argentina World Cup.

Italy and Juve always had alternatives with Bettega up front. They could play it through to him or launch it over the top of the defence and Roberto’s anticipation could be trusted to do the rest. In his first 12 appearances he scored 13 for the Azzurri, going on to win 42 caps and notching 19 goals in all. His penultimate game was in the 1982 World Cup qualifying match with Yugoslavia in October 1981, where he scored the all important equaliser in the 1-1 draw. His final game arrived a full two years later - after recovering from his knee injury - in the 1-0 defeat away to Romania, eventually being replaced by Alessandro Altobelli.

After retiring from Juventus he joined the managerial side eventually forming a new group at the club in 1994 along with Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo, nicknamed the Triad. They hired Marcello Lippi who helped the Old Lady return to the glory days of Bettega’s footballing years to win their first League title for nine years and the rest as they say like Bettega himself is history.

STAR RATING . 8/10 A vital and respected member of the all-conquering Juventus team of the 1970s and 80s, Roberto Bettega deserves to be recognised as one of the Bianconeri’s most impressive performers. At international level, his scoring record was more than useful. An intelligent and gifted front-runner who has enjoyed immeasurable success behind the scenes at Juve.


Roberto Bettega
Born : Turin 27/12/50
Position : Forward
Ht/Wt : 1.84m/78kg
Serie A debut : Catania 0-1 Juventus, 27/9/70
Clubs : Varese, Juventus
International debut : Finland 0-1 Italy (Olympiastadion), 5/6/75
Last cap : Romania 1-0 Italy (Stadionul), 16/4/83
International caps : 42
International goals : 19
Honours :
Lo Scudetto (1972, 73, 75, 77,78, 81, 82)
Coppa Italia (1979, 83)
UEFA Cup (1977)
 

Codino

The Rival
Jul 21, 2002
1,394
#8
its my turn now!! :D



Mazzola marvels

The football field is not normally a place where family values flourish. The single-minded pursuit of the self that the game requires can often escalate sibling rivalry to a whole new level. And history is littered with the stories of sporting sons who could never live up to the reputation of their famous forebears. More often than not, it seems, you are better off leaving the family baggage on the touchline.

That is what makes the story of Valentino and Sandro Mazzola so singularly exceptional. Both father and son were players of the highest calibre who wrote themselves ample chapters in the history of the Italian game. On the field of play, at least, no family has made quite such an impact.

Perhaps it was their unique story which helped young Sandro follow and even surpass many of his father’s achievements. Valentino lost his life in the Superga air crash in 1949, leaving his young family to fend for themselves. In many ways it was a case of the young man carrying on the work his father had started rather than struggling to live up to his reputation.

Although both players donned the No 10 shirt their footballing stories and styles could hardly have been more different. Mazzola senior was a robust figure as the game in the immediate years around World War 2 required. An inspirational character, he was also gifted with great skills and a scoring ability which was second to none in the era in which he played. Sandro was, in appearance at least, a more frail figure. But the same skills shone through in his play and also guaranteed him more than his fair share of goals.

Valentino’s footballing story began with the Alfa Romeo factory team in Milan, but it was only when military service took him to Venice in 1939 that he really started to break through. The lagoon team were starting to build an interesting side - which would take their one and only major honour in 1941 with the Coppa Italia. It was there that Mazzola teamed up with his ‘twin’ attacker Ezio Loik. Born on the same day, they both transferred to Torino in 1942 and would both die in the plane crash of 1949.

Before that terrible day Valentino established himself as the greatest player of his generation. Five League championships, a couple of Italian Cups and over 100 Serie A goals, despite the disruption of the war, were the hallmark of his quality. He was killed at the age of 30 when there was still surely a lengthy international career ahead of him and his Grande Torino teammates. In his last interview before the crash he shared his view of the game with a local Portuguese reporter.

"I have to say that I consider football to be a very simple game," he said. "You will win as long as you don’t always play in the same way. You have got to add some variations to make your game more dynamic. There has to be room for improvisation outside of classical tactics. But I am of the opinion that modern football must be above all a team game."

His theories have been echoed in the sport throughout the rest of the century and beyond. And even though Sandro was only seven when he lost his father it is clear that the man had a huge effect on his son prior to the dreadful events of May 1949.

"Every time I think of that day it hurts, I feel an awful pain in the pit of my stomach and I can do nothing about it," admitted Mazzola junior. "The fact is that you try not to think about it and put it at the back of your mind but whenever the anniversary comes around all the bad memories come flooding back."

Still, part of that legacy were the footballing skills which had evidently been transferred from father to son. They also shared a strength of character required to reach the very top of the game. Sandro would be the first to recognise his debt to his father.

"Almost since the day I was born my dad would help me put my boots on and take me along to training, I was a mascot," said Sandro. "There must be something in the genes because he certainly transmitted his love of football to me."

The young Sandro was always likely to be the focus of attention given his famous father and Inter were happy to find a place for him in the all-conquering side they were building. Despite making his debut in a record defeat - the 9-1 hammering from Juve in a match where Inter fielded their youth team - he was destined to mark the club’s history like few others before him.

Inter were desperate to make their mark in Europe and Mazzola delivered the extra class they needed to make that leap forward. Back-to-back European Cups and World Club Cups cemented both the Nerazzurri’s and their No 10’s reputation at the highest level.

An undisputed legend at club level, things never quite went as easily for Mazzola with the national team. Continual indecision between himself and Milan’s Golden Boy Gianni Rivera meant he did not quite make the impact he might have. Still, 70 caps and 22 goals were a fairly major contribution. Mazzola was also part of the 1968 European Championship winning side and the team so cruelly destroyed by Pele’s Brazilians in the 1970 World Cup.

After retirement in 1977 there was no question of Mazzola disappearing from the game and he covered a number of roles for Inter. With more than 400 games and 116 Serie A goals they were unlikely to discard a man who became a symbol for the club. But lately a new temptation has drawn him away from the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and back towards his family’s past. A post with Torino beckoned and Mazzola could not resist trying to rebuild a great team with one of the grandest old clubs of Italy. If anyone can achieve it, then probably a Mazzola can.

STAR RATING 8/10 Because of the Superga disaster, Vincenzo Mazzola never got the chance to complete his football career. But he was a truly inspirational figure of his time. Son Sandro also had to contest his position with Gianni Rivera, but his 77 caps prove his claim to fame.

VALENTINO MAZZOLA
Born: Cassano D’Adda (Milan), 26/1/19. Died: 1949. :down:
Position: Attacking midfielder.
Serie A debut: Lazio 1-0 Venezia, 31/3/40
Clubs: Venezia, Torino
International debut: Italy 4-0 Croatia, 5/4/42 :D
International caps: 12 :confused:
International goals: 4

Honours:
5 Scudetto (1943, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949)
2 Coppa Italia (1941, 1943)
1 Serie A Capocannoniere (1947)

SANDRO MAZZOLA
Born: Turin, 8/11/42
Position: Attacking midfielder
Serie A debut: Juventus 9-1 Inter, 10/6/61 :eek: :down:
Club: Inter

Honours:
4 Scudetto (1963, 1965, 1966, 1971) :D
2 European Cups (1964, 1965)
2 Intercontinental Cups (1964, 1965)
1 European Nations (1968)
1 Serie A Capocannoniere (1965)
International debut: Italy 3-0 Brazil, 12/5/63 :cheesy:
International caps: 70 :angel:
International goals: 22 :cool:
 

denco

Superior Being
Jul 12, 2002
4,679
#9
I am still recovering from the shock that its not Baggio:D Anyways in 40 years time you will remember to put him on here:D
 

Majed

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2002
9,630
#16
all the time !!

tell me another game they lost that had a 6-1 scoreline!!?

using your reasoning, then you'd have to say that juve is used to being humiliated too since they lost 4-0 to Celta Vigo 3 years ago :p



bala falsfah
 

Respaul

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2002
4,734
#19
Name: Giampiero Combi Nickname: Uomo di Gomma
Date of Birth: 20 December 1902 Place of Birth: Turin, Italy
Died: 1956 Position: Goalkeeper


National Team
Games: 47 (Juventus) Captain: 5 (Juventus)
Honours: World Cup 1934 - Captain
Olympic Bronze Medal 1928
2 - Coppa Internazionale 1930, 1935
Records: First European Captain to lift the World Cup.
First Goalkeeper Captain to lift the World Cup


Technical Commissioner: Games: 5 Wins: 2 Draws: 3 Loses: 0


Seria A
Clubs: Juventus
Seasons: 13 (Juventus)
Games: 348 (Juventus)
Honours: 5 - Italian Champion (Juventus-1926, 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33,
1933/34)
Records: First Goalkeeper to win four Italian Championships in a row
Third Goalkeeper to play most games with Juventus


Giampiero Combi is a legendary goalkeeper of the 1930's who is regarded as one of the best pre-Second World War goalkeepers in the world and, with Dino Zoff, the best Italian goalkeeper of all time. He was known as the 'Uomo di Gomma', the Rubber Man, due to his extraordinary agility and his carefree but secure saves. It was not uncommon to find him near his opponent's goal and probably was the first goalkeeper to scientifically study his opponents and their shooting capabilities, thus becoming a great specialist in saving penalty shots, especially by noting the way the penalty taker is looking.
He was born in Turin on the 20 December 1902 in a wealthy family. As a young boy he used to play football with his friends in the Piazza d'Armi. Soon this new sport became his major hobby and he was at his best jumping at his opponent feet to grab the ball. As a young man he was a 'Turineis', that is, a wealthy Turin youth who had a car - a rarity in those years. Giampiero was a very friendly and elegant person who used to spend half an hour to dress before each game and in his everyday life he will take an hour to dress to go just for a walk in Piazza San Carlo. Due to this mania on elegancy he managed also to change temporarily the traditional black or gray shirt colours that the Juventus' goalkeepers used to wear, to a white one. He used to design himself his playing shirts, which were then manufactured by his taylor. To keep his shorts from falling he used to wear a white belt with a round buckel.
He made his debut in the Seria A on the 30 October 1921in Juventus vs Spezia 2-2. At that time Italian football and Juventus were passing through a lot of new changes. The club elected as President Edoardo Agnelli, the son of the owner and founder of the major Italian car manufacturer FIAT - the first step that lead the Agnelli family to eventually own the club. Due to the increased number of supporters Juventus bought a proper Stadium surrounded by a stonewall fencing in Corso Marsiglia. The first real coach arrived to lead Juventus - the Hungarian Jeno Karoly and the first player transfer involving money in football history occurred when Juventus bought from Pro Vercelli Virginio Rosetta.
Besides Combi and Rosetta, Juventus eventually added to their ranks Umberto Caligaris, another star player of the time. Between them these three defenders made a formidable defensive wall that every opponent found so difficult to penetrate Combi between the posts and the Full-backs Rosetta and Caligaris on the sides. This trio eventually become known as the 'Trio della Legenda' (the legendary trio) and left their mark both in the Juventus squad and the Italian National team.
His first honour was obtained in 1926 when he won his first Italian Championship from a total of five won during his career. This was the second Scudetto for Juventus, won 21 years after the first one in 1905. In the National league of that year 44 clubs participated and as the Seria A format had not yet started to be used, these clubs were divided in seven groups: 2 in the Northern League and 5 in the Southern League. Juventus won Group B of the Northern League with a total of 37 points; eight more than the runner-ups Cremonese, through 17 victories, 3 draws and just two loses. In the Northern League final they met the winners of Group A, Bologna the reigning National Champions. After two draws, 2-2 in Bologna and 0-0 in Turin, Juventus won the decider on a neutral ground in Milano 2-1 and qualified for the National Final against the Southern League champions Alba. The team of Combi crashed the roman team 7-1 in Turin and 5-0 in Rome.
The 'Uomo di Gomma' also formed part of the Golden Years of the Club when Juventus established the record of five championship victories in a row. Combi won four of the five scudetti 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33 and 1933/34 as then he decided to retire. It was the time that the FIGC changed the format of the national league and created one group of 18 clubs to play for the championship; in fact the 1930/31 season was just the second one in this format. Juventus won the 1930/31 and the 1931/32 seasons with four points ahead of Roma and Bologna respectively. The next two leagues where fought mainly against (Ambrosiana) Inter and the club of Giampiero won with a lead of eight points the 1932/33 season and a lead of four the 1933/34 league. Such a successful period was due to the quality of the players, the good administrative management of the club and mainly the technical expertise of coach Carlo Carcano - an ex-national coach.
He played his last match in the Seria A on the 15 April 1934 in Brescia vs Juventus 1-2. In total Combi played 13 seasons with his beloved club Juventus, totaling 348 Seria A matches to establish the record of the most Goalkeeper to play with Juventus - a record he held for more then 40 years until Dino Zoff in the 1970's and Stefano Tacconi in the 1980's had done better. At that time Juventus had their first experiences of international competitions by their participation in the Coppa Europa (the predecessor of the modern Champions Cup) in which they qualified to play in the semi-finals on four occasions but never won. Giampiero also played 16 games in the Central European Cup or as it was known at the time, the 'Mitropa Cup'.


In Azzurro he made his debut at the age of 22 when the National coach Vittorio Pozzo selected him to play against Hungary in Budapest on the 6 April 1924. It was a disastrous friendly match and Italy lost with the score of 7-1. The result wasn't positive for Combi as he lost his place in the National team and therefore his participation in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
1934 World Cup - The greatest moment in Giampiero's career. The left photo shows the Azzurri in preparation for the final stage of the competition during a retreate held in Roveta near Florence. Combi is seated on the left of National Coach Pozzo. The right photo shows the Azzurri entering the stadium to play the First Round match against the USA (7-1). Combi is seen in the front near Meazza (with the flag) and captain Rosetta. This was the only game of the World Cup in which Giampiero Combi was not the Captain of the Azzurri.
The 'Uomo di Gomma' also formed part of the Golden Years of the Club when Juventus established the record of five championship victories in a row. Combi won four of the five scudetti 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33 and 1933/34 as then he decided to retire. It was the time that the FIGC changed the format of the national league and created one group of 18 clubs to play for the championship; in fact the 1930/31 season was just the second one in this format. Juventus won the 1930/31 and the 1931/32 seasons with four points ahead of Roma and Bologna respectively. The next two leagues where fought mainly against (Ambrosiana) Inter and the club of Giampiero won with a lead of eight points the 1932/33 season and a lead of four the 1933/34 league. Such a successful period was due to the quality of the players, the good administrative management of the club and mainly the technical expertise of coach Carlo Carcano - an ex-national coach.
22 year old Combi in a 1924 Juventus team photo wearing a white shirt.
1934 World Cup Quarter Final against Spain (1-1) - two legendary Goalkeeper Captains, Combi and Zamora
He returned in Azzurro a year and seven games later when the Technical Commission, made up of Rangone, Giuseppe Milano and Baccani selected him to play against France in Turin on the 22 March 1925. This match was played in the Juventus stadium 'Corso Marsiglia' and this time the large score was in favor of the Azzurri, a victory of 7-0. After this match Giampiero never looked back and for the next ten years it was extremely rare to see another goalkeeper defending the Azzurri posts.
The 1928 Olympics where held in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and this time Combi formed part of the squad. He lost his place to De Pra of Genoa for the first Round match against France (4-3) but defended the Azzurri's net for the rest of the tournament: Quarter Final against Spain 1-1 after extra time, Quarter Final Replay against Spain 7-1, Semi Final against Uruguay 2-3 and 3rd Place Final against Egypt 11-3. With this result obtained on the 10 June 1928 in the Olympisch Stadion of Amsterdam, the Azzurri won their first honour - the Bronze Medal of the 9th edition of the Olympic games.


Other triumphs followed, the next being the winning of the first edition of the Coppa Internazionale, a predecessor of the European Nations Cup held between the National teams of Central Europe. The competition was held in a period of three years in which each team played eight matches on home and away bases. De Pra of Genoa played in the first four matches of this edition while Combi guarded the Azzurri's goal in the last four. In these matches Italy lost against Austria 0-3 in Vienna but won all the others, against Switzerland 3-2 in Zurich, against Czechoslovakia 4-2 in Bologna and the last match against Hungary. This match was played in Budapest on the 11 May 1930 and as both teams had equal points, whoever was going to win the match was also going to win the Coppa Internazionale. A great game by the Azzurri produced a massive 5-0 victory through a hat trick by Meazza and two goals by Magnozzi and Costantino. The price was a trophy made of Bohemian glass and on the return trip to Italy there were celebrations in every train station where the cup was triumphaly shown.


Around the beginning of 1934, 32-year-old Giampiero was preparing to retire from football. In this season he was on the way to win his fifth Scudetto (a record fourth in a row) with Juventus and his career in Azzurro, very successful with more than then 40 games, was nearing the twilight as a new promising young goalkeeper was emerging - Carlo Ceresoli of Ambrosiana Inter. On his debut Ceresoli had helped the Azzurri to qualify for the 2nd edition of the World Cup being held in Italy that summer, by eliminating Greece in Milano by a 4-0 score. But the National Coach Vittorio Pozzo included 'Uomo di Gomma' in his World Cup squad and demanded Combi to
postpone his retirement until the end of the Competition as his experience might be of great help. An so it was when during a training session a few weeks before the beginning of the tournament, a shot by Pietro Arcari cracked one of Ceresoli's forearms. Therefore he had to miss the World Cup and Giampiero found himself again the top goalkeeper of Italy, with the responsibility to lead the Azzurri on their debut in the most prestigious competition in football history.


The first appointment was for the 27 May 1934 when Italy played in the First Round of the World Cup in the Stadio Nazionale del P.N.F. in Rome against the United States. The Azzurri destroyed their opponents with a 7-1 victory through a hat trick by Schiavio, a double of Orsi and a goal each by Ferrari and Meazza. In the Quarter finals the Azzurri meet Spain, whom were lead by another legenedary goalkeeper of the time Zamora. The game was played on the 31 May 1934 in the Stadio Comunale "Giovanni Berta" of Florence. As both Virginio Rosetta and Caligaris were not selected with the first eleven, from this match onwards Combi was the Captain of the Azzurri. He had already made his debut as Azzurro Captain when he was playing his 33rd game with the blue shirt on the 15 November 1931. On that occasion Italy played their third match in the second edition of the Coppa Internazionale against Czechoslovakia in Rome and equalized 2-2. The game against Spain was a very difficult one, dominated by the velocity and force used by both teams and finished in a draw of 1-1 after extra Time. Therefore a replay had to be played the next day, in which Italy changed four players and Spain seven. Italy won 1-0 with a goal of Meazza.
The semi-final opponents were the archrivals Austria; a great team who had just beat the Azzurri 2-4 in Turin four months before. The match was played in Milano's Stadio Calcistico San Siro on the 3 June and the Azzurri played a great game to win 1-0 with a goal of Guaita. Captain Combi was also decisive when he made two miracle saves to keep the score in favor of Italy till the end. The final was held in Rome on the 10 June 1934 at three in the afternoon. The day was hot and a tense feeling could be felt on Rome. The first half finished without goals but in the 71-minute against all odds Puc managed to beat Giampiero and the Czechs were in the lead. But ten minutes later Orsi equalized and the game went in Extra-time. With the help of a great and noisy support, because of which coach Pozzo had to continually run along the pitch so that the players could hear his instructions, Italy won the match through a goal by Schiavio, who fell sick through his joy and emotions. Italy were crowned World Champions, the first European Nation to reach such a high honor in football. Giampiero Combi as Captain of the Azzurri received the prestigious Rimet Cup and the 'Coppa del Duce' given by the Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini to the winner of the Tournament.


This was the greatest moment in Combi's life, becoming the first European Captain to lift the World Cup and (together with Dino Zoff) the only Goalkeeper Captain to lift the Cup. It was the perfect time to close his career as World and Italian Champion. A year later, in November 1935, in Combi's absence the Azzurri had won the third edition of the Coppa Internazionale, and as he had played in five of the eight games before his retirement, he was credited as one of the winners of the Cup. In total he had played 47 games with the blue shirt of the National team, 5 of which as Captain.
Although he had stopped playing football, this sport remained in his life and he still held a number of unofficial positions with Juventus. He contributed with his advices to the technical staff and also as a scout. In 1951 the FIGC offered him the job to become a technical commissioner of the Azzurri together with Carlino Beretta and Toni Busini. They lead the National Team for seven months, from the 8 April till the 25 November 1951 in which time the Azzurri played 5 games without any loses. They won 4-1 against Portugal and France, and equalized against Yugoslavia (0-0), Sweden (1-1) and Switzerland (1-1) - the only competitive game from the five.
He died in Imperia in August 1956, aged 54. He had placed the game of football as his main objective of his life and had succeeded in writing his name with golden letters on the football history books. On the occassion of the European Nations Championships held in Italy in 1980, the idea to change the name of the major stadium in Turin, Stadio Comunale, was being considered by the Comune. Juventus proposed the name 'Stadio Giampiero Combi'. The idea was finally abandoned and Stadio Comunale remained with its old name. But his beloved Juventus still remembered him and has named one of their minor grounds, the one in which their Primavera squad plays, Campo Combi.
 

JKane

Junior Member
May 31, 2001
302
#20
Serie A debut: Juventus 9-1 Inter
Inter must have been humiliated in that match
No, not quite.

Seeing that they (Inter) played with their Primavera (Mazzola wasn't even in the first team, then) as a protest against a controversial decision that saw the first game (in which Inter didn't get humiliated at all) repeated you can't say they got "humiliated". Inter's coach then, Helenio Herrera, wanted to protest against the influential Juventus background (Agnelli - Fiat).

I forgot why Agnelli wanted the game to be repeated but it was controversial and Herrera is still very popular among Inter Fans for his protest against "evil Juventus".
 

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