Bearzot with Torino in 1958–59
|Full name||Enzo Bearzot|
|Date of birth||26 September 1927|
|Place of birth||Aiello del Friuli, Italy|
|Date of death||21 December 2010(aged 83)|
|Place of death||Milan, Italy|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Vincenzo "Enzo" Bearzot (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛntso bearˈtsɔt]; 26 September 1927 – 21 December 2010) was an Italian association football player and manager. He is best known for having led the Italian national football team to a triumph in the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
Born in Aiello del Friuli, in the friulian Province of Udine in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Bearzot had a moderately successful playing career as a centre back. He made his debut in professional football with Pro Gorizia in 1946, a team he left in 1948 to join Internazionale. After three seasons with the Nerazzurri, Bearzot moved to Sicily and joined Catania for three more seasons.
In 1954 he moved to Torino, which was rebuilding after the tragedy of Superga in 1949. In two seasons as a starter he played 65 matches, scoring one goal. In 1956 he returned to Internazionale where he appeared 27 times, the last of which was a 3–2 defeat at Bologna on 9 June 1957. The following year he returned to Torino. Here, he made 164 appearances and scored 7 goals for the Granata before retiring in 1964, aged 37, to take up coaching.
In his playing career, Bearzot totalled 251 appearances in Italy's Serie A, being called up once to play for Italy, making his debut on 27 November 1955 in a 0–2 1955–56 Central European International Cup match defeat to Hungary.
After having ended his playing career, Bearzot became assistant coach of Torino, working alongside Italian managers Nereo Rocco and Giovan Battista Fabbri. He successively moved in Tuscany to take his first head coaching job in Tuscany at the helm of Serie C side Prato.
However, Bearzot did not go on a club career, and chose instead to start working for the Italian Football Federation: first as under-23 head coach, then as assistant coach of Ferruccio Valcareggi in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. After the German World Cup, Bearzot was appointed as assistant coach of Fulvio Bernardini, and was then promoted head coach of Italy in 1975. It was Bearzot who drove the national team to fourth place in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, obtained thanks to one of the most exciting playing styles in the competition. This performance was repeated in the 1980 European Championship, hosted by Italy.
In the 1982 FIFA World Cup, after poor performances in the three first matches, Bearzot announced the so-called silenzio stampa (press silence) in order to avoid rising criticism from the Italian press. Following that, the Italian team finally started to play its best football, defeating Argentina and Brazil in the second round, Poland in the semi-final and Germany in the Final, and winning the World Cup for the first time since 1938.
Italy did not qualify for the Euro 1984. Bearzot resigned after the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which saw Italy being defeated in the round of 16 by France. Bearzot was criticised during the latter tournament for relying too heavily on players from the 1982 team, as some of them were past their best form by 1986.
After a long period of inactivity, Bearzot was appointed President of the FIGC Technical Sector (Settore Tecnico, the main football coaching organization of Italy) in 2002. He left this office in 2005.
- Inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame (posthumous honour, 2011)
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