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ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#21
Scirea remembered as Italy seek repeat



The vast majority of the Italy squad who won the 1982 FIFA World Cup™ will be in Berlin tonight hoping to see their successors follow in their footsteps. And should the Azzurri prevail against France, the class of 82 will dedicate the victory to the memory of their deceased former team-mate Gaetano Scirea, a model professional both on and off the pitch.

That squad that conquered the world that summer in Spain was: Dino Zoff, Ivano Bordon, Giovanni Galli, Giuseppe Bergomi, Claudio Gentile, Scirea, Pietro Vierchowod, Franco Baresi, Fulvio Collovati, Antonio Cabrini, Gabriele Oriali, Giampiero Marini, Giancarlo Antognoni, Marco Tardelli, Bruno Conti, Giuseppe Dossena, Franco Causio, Franco Selvaggi, Daniele Massaro, Paolo Rossi, Alessandro Altobelli and Francesco Graziani.

All but one of these Italian legends will be at the Olympiastadion tonight, some in official capacities and others simply as fans. Bergomi, for example, will be working as a commentator, whereas Bordon will be on the bench, just as he was almost 24 years ago to the day. The only difference is that then he was Italy's reserve goalkeeper, whereas now he coaches the team’s shot-stoppers.

Only the fantastic sweeper from the class of 82 cannot be present tonight. Scirea was killed on 3 September 1989 at the age of 36 in a road accident near Warsaw in Poland. At the time of the accident he was working for Juventus, the club with whom he won everything on offer in European football and who named a stand in the Stadio delle Alpi in his honour.

When asked how they remembered him, the defender's former Nazionaleteam-mates, many of whom also played for Juventus, were unanimous in their response: "A great guy, who was liked and respected by everyone." In footballing terms, he was one of the finest exponents of the Italian art of defence.
As well as being a peerless defender, Scirea could also be called upon to play as a stylish and charismatic midfielder when circumstances required. It was he who started the move that led to Tardelli scoring Italy’s second against West Germany in the 1982 Final. His exemplary career, during which he was never sent off and which has been compared with that of Ruud Krol and Franz Beckenbauer, helped to change the public's perception of the sweeper's role.

Scirea made his international debut in 1975, at the age of 22, in Italy’s 3-2 win over Greece. Ironically, he ended his Azzurri career against tonight's opponents France during the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. He won 78 caps and scored two goals during a long international career that also included three FIFA World Cup appearances. His club career consisted of 397 Serie A appearances and 24 goals. While playing at Juventus he won seven league titles, two Italian Super Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA European Cup, one UEFA Super Cup and one Intercontinental Cup - an impressive list by anyone's standards.

FIFAWorldcup.com
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#23
mikhail said:
I've been neglecting these. Sorry guys, I'll get back on it soon.
Don't worry, mikhail...

I'm trying to gather the best articles about our legends...

You'll do what you want with them later:smoke: :D
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#25
Hall of Fame: Liam Brady


Liam Brady secured his place in Highbury folklore when he lifted a stunned, exhausted Arsenal team off the floor and steered them to victory in the 1979 FA Cup final. With a minute to go at Wembley and the Gunners reeling, Brady turned the game on its head. Socks rolled down around his ankles, an exhausted Brady embarked on a 40-yard run with the ball that would eventually draw four opponents to him, freeing up vital space for his team-mates to exploit.

"When we scored," he recalled later, referring to Alan Sunderland's volleyed winner at the end of the move he began, "it was the most emotional moment of my career. God knows, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry."

His telling intervention in what became known as the 'Five-minute Final' encapsulated for many fans his career with the club. The Gunners needed inspiration - and it was Brady, the linchpin of the side, who supplied it.

His FA Cup winners' medal would prove to be his only club honour as an Arsenal player (on an individual note, he was voted Player of the Year by his fellow professionals in 1979). In total, Brady appeared in four cup finals for the Gunners, before leaving to play in Italy, where he won two championship medals with Juventus.

Meanwhile, at international level, Brady amassed 72 caps for the Republic of Ireland between 1974 and 1990; "Liam is the most accomplished player ever to represent this country," Irish manager Eoin Hand said.

During his seven years as a first-team player between 1973 and 1980, Brady was idolised by Gunners fans to an extent unprecedented in the post-war era. Nick Hornby wrote, in 1992, that the Irishman was 'revered by every single Arsenal supporter'. Time has not diminished his reputation. In 2004, more than two decades after his last appearance in Arsenal colours, Brady was described, rather poetically, in an official history as 'a midfield general of sublime vision and skill whose left foot was an instrument of almost celestial precision and who could drift past opponents as thought they were not there'. He would, the book added, be 'many fan's choice as the club's finest footballer of all time'.

His background as a product of the youth system only added to his popularity at Highbury. 'Chippy' (a nickname derived from his favourite food, we're told, rather than any insistence on lofting all his passes) was one of them - a 'Gooner'. 'In football parlance, if you cut him he would bleed Arsenal,' Hornby said. It also helps, of course, to be the architect of a 5-0 drubbing of rivals Spurs, inflicted at White Hart Lane in 1978.

For all this undoubted craft and passing ability, which more than compensated for a lack of genuine pace, Brady was no soft touch, either on or off the field. Throughout his career, he repeatedly challenged authority - notably when he likened the transfer system to 'an auction of prize heffers'.

He was the same as a boy in Dublin. Ordered by the headmaster to play Gaelic football for his school, he captained Ireland at schoolboy level instead. 'School Expels Boy for Playing Soccer', ran the front-page headline the following day. Football League scouts couldn't help but notice him.

Bertie Mee welcomed Brady, then aged 15, in 1971, the year Arsenal won the double. Under the guidance of senior pros Frank McLintock, George Graham and, later, Alan Ball, Brady developed rapidly. So much so that Mee gave him his debut, as a substitute, against Birmingham City in October 1973 in an Arsenal side then in decline.

Four years later, Don Howe, the Arsenal coach, delivered another blunt lesson. "He told me that my concentration was not good enough," Brady recalled. "He was right. I did what he said and my game improved."

By the end of the decade, under manager Terry Neill, Brady had established himself as the team's creative fulcrum. As Brady improved, so did Arsenal - proof of which came when they reached three successive FA Cup finals between 1978 and 1980.

In the first of those finals, against Ipswich Town, Brady carried an injury into the game but declared himself fit anyway - 'the biggest single mistake I ever made'. Arsenal lost 1-0. Substituted, he apologised to his team-mates in the dressing-room after the game.

The following May, as noted earlier, Brady made full amends for his previous misjudgement. On a sweltering day at Wembley two Manchester United goals late in the game had levelled the score at 2-2. "I had to buy some time," Brady said, recalling his thoughts when the ball landed at his feet moments later. "I knew that we had to keep them away from our goal - and that meant getting into their half. So I just did what I always did when I had the ball, I ran at them."

Once in United territory, however, Brady sensed that United - a side seemingly on an unstoppable roll - might, in fact, be vulnerable. "I realized that we had to strike during these last few seconds while United were still mentally celebrating their comeback."

Victory was all the more important to him because Brady had, by now, decided to leave the club - once his contract expired in 1980. In response, Arsenal offered to make him the best-paid player in England, but Brady was determined to pursue his career overseas. Two cup finals in the less than a week in May 1980 provided the opportunity for a fitting finale, but the Gunners lost them both - against underdogs West Ham at Wembley and then Valencia in the final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup final. Worse, in his last significant act for the club, Brady missed from the spot in the penalty shoot-out in Brussels.

That summer, at the age of 24, Brady walked away from Highbury. Terry Neill described the Irishman's departure as 'a tragedy of monumental proportions for the club'. In footballing terms, at least, Neill was right: Brady would prove to be irreplaceable.

Arsenal had been a dour, mediocre side prior to Brady's emergence as a regular first-team player, and the club lost the plot for the best part of a decade once he was gone. To make matters worse, from Neill's point of view, Arsenal received only £600,000 - the maximum allowed for transfers between countries under UEFA regulations at the time. The Italians knew full well what a bargain that fee represented. Juventus had been highly impressed by Brady's performance against them in the semi-final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1980. In the first leg at Highbury Marco Tardelli, a World Cup winner with Italy two years later, was sent off for fouling him. Arsenal won the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

In leaving for Turin, Brady pioneered an exodus of leading British footballers to Serie A following the lifting of a 15-year ban on the import of foreigners. He had a tough act to follow at Juventus, mind you. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Welshman John Charles was revered as the greatest foreigner ever to play for the club. Now Juve looked to another Briton to revive their fortunes.

Unfazed by history or the weight of expectation, Brady, too, won the fans over. In each of his two seasons in Turin, the team won the championship. Thrillingly, in 1981-82, it all came down to a late penalty in a crucial away game on the last day of the season. Brady duly stepped up and slotted the ball away; Juve clinched the title and Brady guaranteed his reputation with the fans. The moment was made all the more dramatic by the fact that Brady already knew that this would be his last significant contribution.

With only two places available for non-Italians under the rules, Juventus reluctantly sold Brady - to make room for Frenchman Michel Platini
. Undaunted, Brady spent six more productive seasons in Italy - with Sampdoria, Internazionale and Ascoli, before returning to Britain to play out his career at West Ham.

Brady may have played some of his best football in Italy, where he spent his peak years in the early 1980s, but in the view of the selection panel, the Irishman did more than enough during his time at Arsenal - scoring 69 goals in 426 domestic and European appearances - to merit his induction to the Hall of Fame in 2006.

By Robert Galvin
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#26
I read this article which was published Today, and I think it is one of the best articles written about Zidane after his retiring...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bienvenue Monsieur Zidane


On the evening of May 15, 2002 in the Scottish city of Glasgow, an unassuming Frenchman in the all-whites of the team of the century unleashed a left foot ballistic missile that thumped into the back of the net.

The goal, since recognised as one of the best ever scored in the history of the Champions League was carved out by a man who will in the generations to come be spoken of in the same breath to that of legends like Pele and Maradona. And that goal to settle a scrappy encounter in Hampden only further served to enhance the fact as to why Zinedine Yazid Zidane is quite possibly the most gifted and famous footballer of his generation.

But that goal is hardly the be-all and end-all of Zinedine Zidane. For in a career littered with spotlights, the man of Kabyle ethnicity and son of Algerian immigrants did more than most even dare to dream of.

So, where to begin? Do you start with his irrefutable impact on two different World Cup finals? Or do you start with saying how Zidane's appeal transcends the religious and racial divide in one of the most tense multi-ethnic societies in Europe? Do you start by speaking of his undeniable brilliance or his fatal character flaw for which he is both loved and loathed?

In the end its only fitting to start at the beginning and how all this could so nearly not have been.

Born into what is known in France as a quartier difficile or, a sensitive zone, the backstreets of the notorious La Castellane in Marseilles is where Zidane learnt his trade and inimitable football skills that would later enchant the world. La Castellane is also what he most identifies himself with, as in a subsequent interview Zidane spoke of how he was first and foremost "a Kabyle from La Castellane."

As a kid plying his trade in the youth teams of US Saint-Henri and Septemes Sports Olympiques, Zidane dreamed of pulling on the kits of Olympique Marseille, but it was with AS Cannes that he got his first chance, after the Marseille academy famously rejected him for being 'too slow and fragile.'

And to complete the enigmatic streak in his characteristic, playing for his hometown club was a dream that Zidane would never go on to realise.

His stay at Cannes was supposed to be for four-weeks but he ended up staying for four years before swapping to ironically, Marseille's big rivals, Girondins de Bordeaux in 1992.

At Bordeaux he met Christoph Dugarry and Bixenti Lizarazu and they along with the fair-haired Emanuele Petit would go on to form a partnership on and off the field that led them to being dubbed the "Four Musketeers." It was also at Bordeaux that coach Rolland Courbis gave Zidane the nickname of "Zi Zou" -- a name that sticks with him to this day.

All four were to later form the backbone of the team that went on to win the World Cup in 1998, courtesy of two headed goals in the final from Zidane himself.

But before that Zidane first caught the eye when he inspired Bordeaux into the final of the UEFA Cup in 1996 where they lost to Bayern Munich.

His exploits were enough to earn him a transfer to Italian giants Juventus for 3 million pounds. Johan Cryuff and Barcelona were also said to be in the running but he chose the team from Turin instead.

At Turin, Zidane evolved into a player of some repute finally establishing himself as a world beater playing alongside the likes of Didier Deschamps and Edgar Davids. He twice won the Scudetto featuring heavily both times and weighing in with some superlative goals. With Juventus, Zidane also reached two consecutive Champions League finals but lost both, firstly to Borussia Dortmund and the second to Real Madrid. The losses prompted Zidane to vow that he would win the Champions League one day
.

Zidane burst into the world scene with his two headed goals in the World Cup final in Paris in 1998, proving for the first time that there was greatness hidden away behind the shy and unassuming demeanour.

Further evidence of his greatness was proved in Euro 2000 when an inspirational Zidane was at his unstoppable best in the French march to the title. True it was a great France team but the enduring image of that tournament will doubtless be of Zidane's slaloming run from the edge of his own box as he skipped and pirouetted around almost the entire Portuguese team. That was Zidane at his best, a figure of intense authority and one whom you could count on when the chips were down. He was at a level above the mere mortals and it was a fact close friend Bixenti Lizarazu was aware of when he famously remarked, "When you don't know what to do with the ball, give it to Zidane."

The story goes that Zidane arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2001, thanks to a napkin upon which then president Florentino Perez had written "Do you want to play for Real Madrid?" and passed round a table at the Monte Carlo sports club -- a napkin upon which Zidane then wrote "Yes", in English, and passed back. That and the small sum of 78 million Euros, which Juventus pocketed for letting go of their gem.

At Real, Zidane became the jewel in the crown, the chief 'galactico' and his partnership with Roberto Carlos in a team also featuring Ronaldo and Luis Figo will go down in folklore. It was at Real also that Zidane came full circle and kept his vow of winning the Champions League. And like all great players, Zidane himself made the difference scoring a goal that many recognise as the best ever to settle any final.

Post 2002, Zidane's career took a dip as he watched injured on the sidelines as the defending champions exited at the first round in the 2002 World Cup. Euro 2004 started brightly and again it was Zidane leading from the front with two goals against England but they bowed out to eventual champions Greece in the quarterfinal and Zidane bid international football a premature goodbye.

Zidane played out his contract at Real till 2006 and then bid the club an emotional goodbye as fans across the Bernabeu shouted 'merci' while the players sported jerseys with the message "Zidane 2001-2006."

The talisman did not stay away for long as he returned in full flight and helped France qualify for the 2006 World Cup. What happened this summer in Germany also further evidenced why Zidane is who he is.

His imperious performances against Brazil and Portugal and his audacious goal in the final against Italy underlined him for what he is -- a genius. His headbutt of Marco Materazzi showed him for what he also is -- a mere mortal. That is why Zidane is an enigma and this is why the humble Frenchman has such a following.

His football is elegant and masterful, charged with technique and vision. But he can still erupt into shocking violence that is as sudden as it is inexplicable. This streak of impudence and impetuosity and his tempestuous attitude on the pitch have won him quite a lot of detractors. Many point out that he has been sent off 14 times in his career. However it would be wrong to remember Zidane for his flaws. After all, Hitler loved his dog, but we don't remember him for it.:lol2:

The word Zidane in Arabic means "an overabundance of." And if there is anything that Zinedine Zidane has an overabundance of, it is talent and unbreakable belief in himself. Also he has not forgotten his roots. At Juventus, Gianni Agnelli and his entourage were dazzled by his football but baffled by his reluctance to take advantage of the rewards on offer in Turin -- the girls, the nightclubs, the cars. Unlike Michel Platini, loved by the Juve fans as much for his flamboyant wit as for his football, Zidane was remote, inscrutable, devoted to his wife, his extended family and his children. Plus he had a very personal understanding of the things that really mattered in life.:stuckup: :stuckup:

These are the traits that helped make a fragile and slow boy from Marseilles into a legend of epic proportions. The story of Zinedine Zidane is of a man who lives life on his own terms; a fact evident even when he danced his last waltz in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

Some say Zidane left in shame but if you ask him all he would probably do would smile and say, "c'est la vie." (this is life).

The Daily Star
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#27
Laudrup acclaimed greatest Dane


Michael Laudrup was last night voted Denmark's greatest player of all time at a function in Copenhagen. "It is quite unique to be honoured for a whole career, not just for a single season," said Laudrup, who was previously named as Denmark's Golden Player in the UEFA Jubilee Awards of 2004. uefa.com salutes the 42-year-old.

Michael Laudrup is more than happy - maybe even a little embarrassed - to be acclaimed as Denmark's greatest footballer. But the players and coaches who have worked with him - Johan Cruyff, Giovanni Trapattoni and Michel Platini among them - insist that, had he been more selfish, he would have become one of the legends of the world game. After serving team-mates with goals he might easily have scored himself, he would shrug his shoulders and calmly insist that creating goals gave him as much, if not more, pleasure than sticking them in the net.

Early start
Michael and his brother Brian inherited the mercurial skills of their father, Finn, blending them with the calm philosophy and positive outlook of their mother, an accomplished and skilful handball player. Born in Vienna, while his father was playing for SK Rapid Wien, Michael had to fine-tune his ball control to cope with the irregularities of a steeply sloping lawn. By the age of 13, he was outstanding enough for AFC Ajax to try to enrol him in their academy. And by the time of his 18th birthday, he was making his first appearance for the Danish national team - in a friendly in Norway on 15 June 1982. In the meantime, he helped Brøndby IF gain promotion to Denmark's top division.

Universally liked
The 1984 UEFA European Championship and the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals demonstrated that the Danes' footballing qualities fully warranted the 'Brazilians of Europe' tag given them by the critics. Michael not only contributed skill, vision and creative spark but also, as he continued to do throughout his career, inspired his colleagues to give the very best of themselves. What's more, he was universally liked.

Italy move
Following in the footsteps of many leading Danish talents, Michael was lured to Italy. Juventus beat off rival bids from the likes of Real Madrid CF, Ajax and Liverpool FC but, at a time when the two-foreigners restriction was in place, the club had to play the futures market. They sent him to cut his Serie A teeth at S.S. Lazio until the departure of Zbigniew Boniek allowed him to move to Turin and team up with Platini.

Too generous
"Michael had everything," said the Frenchman, "except for one thing: he wasn't selfish enough." Trapattoni, who waxed lyrical about the skill, attitude, personality and team spirit of 'Michelino', added: "If he had got into the box and scored more goals instead of serving his team-mates, he would have been an all-time great." But even the rigours of Serie A failed to wipe the smile from Michael's face - or his football.

Cruyff praise
When he left Italy to join Cruyff's attack-obsessed FC Barcelona, a marriage seemed to have been made in heaven. "Watching him play football is pure pleasure," said the Dutchman. "In terms of movement, ball skills and understanding of the game, I have never seen anybody so similar to myself."

Poet of the field
But the partnership turned sour when Michael tired of Cruyff's efforts to goad him towards greater things. It speaks volumes for his charisma that even a transfer to arch-rivals Real Madrid failed to ferment the grapes of wrath at Camp Nou where, to this day, he receives and quietly enjoys a hero's welcome. Other players might be assessed by the amount of silverware collected in Italy and Spain, or the glory that rubbed on to their shoulders from the Danish national shirt. But Michael Laudrup is remembered for a style of play, a philosophy and a desire to give pleasure. His football was poetry.

uefa.com
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#28
Zinedine Zidane, one last record


With two flashing headers against Brazil in the Final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™, this son of Kabyle Algerian immigrants shot to international stardom. The man they call Zizou was born and brought up in Marseilles' northern suburbs and learned his repertoire of tricks on the city's streets. The prodigiously talented youngster joined his first club in 1982 before being spotted four years later by the AS Cannes scout Jean Varraud at a regional youth training camp. With his father Smail's blessing, he left the family home to train with the red and whites, going on to make his Ligue 1 debut as a 16-year-old on 20 May 1989 against a Nantes side boasting the likes of Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly.

He began the next phase in his rise to international fame in the summer of 1992 by signing for Bordeaux, where he struck up close friendships with Christophe Dugarry and Bixente Lizarazu, his future colleagues in the France team. Before long the whole of Europe was paying homage to the sublime ball skills and extraordinary vision of the French wizard. A few seasons later, he helped the club to runners-up spot in the 1996 UEFA Cup, one of the highlights of which was his unforgettable 40-metre lob in the third round against Real Betis.

Zidane's outstanding form with Bordeaux led to an international debut on 17 August 1994, and he quickly showed he belonged, coming off the bench to bag two goals in a 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic. Suitably impressed, Aime Jacquet promoted him to chief playmaker the following season, a role he took to with ease.

Zidane's next move took him to Juventus, where he teamed up with Didier Deschamps. Although a car accident briefly halted his dizzying progress and prevented him from finding his best form at the 1996 UEFA European Championship, he soon regained full fitness and helped the Signora Vecchia to two Italian league titles, the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental/Toyota Cup.

The UEFA Champions League eluded his grasp in 1997 and 1998, however; rare blemishes in an otherwise successful spell with the Turin powerhouse. "Juventus helped me develop in areas where I once struggled, particularly the physical side of things," he explains. "They made me work and develop my tactical appreciation of the game as well as a winning mentality. We had to win week in week out and that motivated you, made you want to go further and faster, to do things better, all the time."

With his brace of FIFA World Cup-winning headers against Brazil in July 1998, Zidane duly took his place in the pantheon of world football. It marked the dawn of his golden age, a glorious period that would last eight years and bring another major international title with victory at Euro 2000. At club level, he left Juventus to become one of Real Madrid's galacticos, yet despite the confirmation of his superstar status, the man lost nothing of his humility. "I've never changed," he said. "You really have to stay the same. You are what you are, that's the way I see it, and having seen how difficult life can be, I'm even more proud of what I have achieved. It motivates me even more to fight poverty, and I'm not alone in the football world. Several of my team-mates are doing the same thing."

In 2002 Zidane finally picked up the Champions League winners medal he had yearned for, sealing victory against Bayer Leverkusen with a superbly executed volley. In all he made 200 appearances for the Madrid giants and scored 35 league goals. More importantly he won the hearts of the Madrid faithful, who bade him an emotional farewell at the Bernabeu by unfurling a giant number 5 jersey and a banner bearing the words "Thank you for the magic".

Meanwhile, the success he had enjoyed with France came to a juddering halt with two unexpected setbacks: a disastrous first-round exit at Korea/Japan 2002 followed by a surprise quarter-final defeat at the hands of Greece at EURO 2004. A disillusioned Zidane announced his international retirement in August 2004 only to reverse his decision a year later to embark on "one last adventure in Germany". It was a gamble that very nearly paid off.

Les Bleus struggled to find their rhythm in the group phase in Germany, eventually squeezing into the second round for a potentially hazardous meeting with an in-form Spain side. Predictions in the Spanish press that this would be Zidane's last game spurred the French, and Zizou in particular, into action. The veteran playmaker turned in a matchwinning performance capped by a fine goal as France ran out 3-1 winners. But that was merely the prelude to a virtuoso display in the quarter-final against Brazil as Zidane rolled back the years. In one of the games of his life he glided across the pitch and left the Brazilians chasing shadows, drawing gasps of admiration from the watching crowd and millions of fans around the world.

To cap it all, it was his beautifully flighted free-kick that allowed Thierry Henry to volley home the winner, the last assist of his professional career. But Zidane had not quite finished yet, stepping up to the spot in the semi-final against Portugal to guide his side into the Final.

The last game of his career began well enough when he coolly chipped home another penalty to give France an early lead. Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon had his revenge, though, when he tipped over Zidane's bullet header as the game drew to a close, and within a few minutes Zizou's dream of going out on the highest of notes ended with his red card. His glorious career may have come to a sad close, but his sublime skills, showcased in that vintage performance against Brazil, will live on long in the memory.

FIFA.com
 

ReBeL

The Jackal
Jan 14, 2005
22,869
#29
Pietro Rava


born January 21 1916; died November 5 2006

The footballer Pietro Rava, who has died aged 90, was the last survivor of the Italy team that won the 1938 World Cup. In the final, where Hungary were beaten 4-2 in Paris, Rava, playing in the centre of the defence, had an outstanding game. Two years earlier, he had been in the team of so-called students that won the Olympic title in Berlin, though at that time he had played only seven Campionato (championship) games for Juventus.

The Turin club was his only one in a long career, bar one season, 1946-47, when he went to Alessandria, with whom he gained just one of his 30 international caps. He had been born near Alessandria, at Cassine.

A left back, he had a famous partnership both for Juventus and Italy with Alfredo Foni. Solidly built and a firm tackler, he made his Juventus debut, alongside Foni, in Florence against Fiorentina in a 1-1 draw on November 1 1935, but was no more than a reserve that season, and it was quite bold of the Italian supremo, Vittorio Pozzo, to choose him for the Olympics. The following season, he replaced veteran full back Virginio Rosetta, 52 times an international, eventually making 289 appearances for Juve; though in that period, the club could never regain a championship they had once dominated.

When Italy began the Olympics with a match against the United States, every player was making his international debut, and it showed. The match was taken much too lightly, with memories, perhaps, of the 7-1 victory against the US as a curtain raiser, in Rome, to the 1934 World Cup. Pozzo's tactical instructions were largely ignored and Italy scraped through only 1-0. Pozzo took the team to task. They buckled down to beat Japan 8-0, Norway 2-1 and Austria 2-1 in the final. Full caps were somewhat surprisingly awarded to all the players, of whom Foni, Rava and Locatelli would play in the 1938 World Cup final.

Described in a history of his club as "a somewhat fiery lad", Rava began the 1938-39 season disastrously. Sent off against a Lucchese team which beat Juve 1-0, he was suspended for three matches. He would play just 12 league games that season and, angered by his exclusion, when he did return against Modena, it was to play with such studied insouciance that he gave away both goals in a 2-0 defeat. But the following season saw him miss only two of the 30 Campionato games.

The post-season tour took the Azzurri to Belgrade, where Yugoslavia had recently beaten England. Italy had the temerity to win, and were subjected to terrifying hostility. Rava was struck by a missile outside the stadium, and the team's coach took a circuitous route to the airport to avoid trouble. Even then they were ambushed and bombarded, with several players cut by flying glass.

Apart from his sojourn in Alessandria, Rava continued to play for Juventus regularly, latterly as an orthodox third back, and as late as the 1948-49 season played in all 38 championship matches. In the following season, Juventus won the championship again, but it would be Rava's last there, for he played only half a dozen times. He had been captain since his return in 1947.

After retiring, he became manager of a number of clubs, including Simmenthal-Monza, Sampdoria and Palermo. He died after an operation on his right thigh, and had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for some years. He is survived by a wife, daughter and grandson.

By Brian Glanville
 

Cuti

The Real MC
Jul 30, 2006
13,517
#32
Agnelli: 'Senza di lui non sarei Platini'

08:27 del 24 gennaio

Il presidente dell'Uefa, Platini ricorda Gianni Agnelli a cinque anni dalla scomparsa: "Senza l'Avvocato non sarei Platini. Fu lui a volermi nella Juve a tutti i costi. Mi manca la sua capacità di dire sempre la cosa giusta".
(Gazzetta dello Sport)

The Uefa president, Platini, remembers Gianni Agnelli 5 years after his death: " Without Agnelli i wouldn't have been Platini. He wanted me at Juve at whatever cost. I miss his ability to always say the right thing
 

BIG DADDY!!!

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2004
4,296
#33
Top 10: South American Juventini

Amauri this season became the 14th Brazilian to appear for Juve. But has he made it into our list of Top 10 South Americans to play for the outfit?

10. Rinaldo Martino (Argentina)
A fancy attacking midfielder who was blessed with great ball control, a terrific shot and an eye for goal. Nicknamed Velvet Foot, Juventus signed him from San Lorenzo in 1949 and he immediately paid them back with 18 goals in 33 games as the Scudetto was won. Struggling with homesickness, he left after just one campaign.

9. Sidney Cunha Cinesinho (Brazil)
The laboured midfielder excelled thanks to his speed of thought and illuminating vision. He was in his 30s when he left Catania for Turin, but the Brazilian was a class element of Heriberto Herrera’s side. Joined Vicenza after winning a Scudetto and Coppa Italia in 1967 and 1965 respectively.

8. Pedro Sernagiotto (Brazil)
A fan favourite, the silky Brazilian wide-man was known as the Golden Arrow. Standing at just 1.55m short, Pedro was signed in 1932 to replace the mythical Federico Munerati. He won the Scudetto in 1933 and ’34, contributing 14 goals in 50 games to those successes. He returned to Brazil after two seasons.

7. Jose Altafini (Brazil)
Signed as a 34-year-old, the Brazil and Italy striker was used as a super sub after prolific spells at Milan and Napoli. The now popular pundit spent four years in Turin where his goals helped the club to their 15th and 16th titles in 1973 and ’75. He left for Chiasso in 1976.

6. Mauro Camoranesi (Argentina)
A technically gifted right-winger who has become a regular following his 2002 move from Verona. Regarded so highly by Marcello Lippi that the latter had to re-invent Gianluca Zambrotta as a full-back so they could play together. An Oriundo, like others on this list, he should surpass Luis Monti’s appearance tally for the club.

5. Paolo Montero (Uruguay)
The no-nonsense stopper who, along with Ciro Ferrara, was the cornerstone of Juventus’ defence. He won 10 titles in his nine years at the club following his move from Atalanta in 1996. Although red-carded a record 16 times in Serie A, Montero could tackle without the use of an elbow – when he wanted to.

4. Renato Cesarini (Argentina)
A member of the mythical side which won five straight Scudetti from 1931 onwards. A midfielder with a knack for crucial late goals – hence the term Zona Cesarini – he was strong in the air and on the ground. Cè, born in Italy prior to emigrating to Argentina, scored 50 goals in 147 games. He also bossed the club during two spells.

3. Raimundo Orsi (Argentina)
One of the stars of the 1928 Olympics, the thin but elegant Orsi joined Juventus in 1929 where he would play a vital part on the left wing as La Vecchia Signora dominated the Italian game with five consecutive titles. He rejoined Independiente in 1935 but not before 87 goals in 194 games.

2. Luis Monti (Argentina)
Overweight and over 30 when signed in 1931, the midfielder who walked had retired from the game when Juventus called. Blessed with a supreme sense of positioning, the powerful Luisito won four Scudetti, an Italian Cup and the 1934 World Cup as an Oriundo. With 263 games, no other Argentine has appeared more for the Old Lady.

1. Omar Sivori (Argentina)
A devil of a player in every sense. Equipped with a fiery temper and socks around his ankles, the trickster joined in 1957 from River Plate. During his time in Turin, he collected a slap from John Charles but also the 1961 Golden Ball, three Scudetti and three Italian Cups. El Cabazon netted 167 goals in 253 games.

Channel 4
 

Marc

Senior Member
Jul 14, 2006
20,105
#38
Agreed. Camoranesi is our all time best pizza sauced, marinara injected, mozzarella sprinkled Italien !!
 

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