Gaetano Scirea

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Gaetano Scirea
Personal information
Full name Gaetano Scirea
Date of birth (1953-05-25)25 May 1953
Place of birth Cernusco s. N., Italy
Date of death 3 September 1989(1989-09-03) (aged 36)
Place of death Babsk, Poland
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Sweeper
Youth career
1970–1972 Atalanta
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1974 Atalanta 58 (1)
1974–1988 Juventus 377 (24)
National team
1975–1986 Italy 78 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gaetano Scirea (Italian pronunciation: [ɡaeˈtaːno ʃʃiˈrɛːa]; 25 May 1953 – 3 September 1989) was an Italian football player who is considered one of the greatest defenders of all-time.[1][2][3]

Scirea is one of only five players in European football history to have won all international trophies for football clubs recognized by UEFA and FIFA. Scirea is also one of only nine players in the history of the European football that won all three major UEFA football competitions. He played for the Italian national team for more than a decade during which he was irreplaceable[clarification needed] as the leading defender, keeping Franco Baresi out of the national team for four years until he retired in 1986. Scirea became a World Champion with the 1982 FIFA World Cup winning team, which defeated Brazil 3–2 in the quarter-final match and Germany 3–1 in the final.

Scirea was a defender of skill and tactical ability. In contrast to the ruthless tactics often employed by other defenders, including his paired partner, Claudio Gentile, Scirea was renowned for his class, fair play and sportsmanship. Scirea never earned a red card in his career.

He played the sweeper, or libero, role for most of his career, and contributed to the development of the position. Thus, Scirea would detach himself from the defensive line and contribute to the attacking potential of his team, frequently being involved in the build-up of goals, and sometimes even scoring himself. In the latter part of his career, Scirea played a more defensive central-defender role.

Career[edit]

Scirea was born at Cernusco sul Naviglio, in the province of Milan, but was of Sicilian origin.

Scirea made his Serie A debut for Atalanta against Cagliari on 24 September 1972. He remained with Atalanta for two seasons, before transferring to Juventus, with whom he would stay until the end of his playing career. In all he made 397 appearances in Serie A, scoring 24 goals. Scirea saw great success with Juventus, playing alongside the hard-hitting Claudio Gentile, and winning every possible trophy to offer in the game.

It has been said[by whom?] that because Scirea was so quietly effective in his position on the field and so quiet in general off the field he did not win as many personal honours throughout the years as other more outspoken and media-friendly players during that time. It was only after his retirement that the wider audience realized and appreciated his fantastic importance to the cause of Juventus and the Italy national football team.

Scirea debuted with the Italian national team on 30 December 1975, against Greece. He immediately became an irreplaceable[clarification needed] pillar of the team managed by Enzo Bearzot, and played in three World Cups and one European Championship in 1980. Scirea, alongside clubmate Antonio Cabrini, centre backs Giuseppe Bergomi and Franco Baresi and goalkeeper Dino Zoff, formed the defensive backbone of perhaps the strongest Italian sides of the post-war period as the Azzurri dominated international and club football during the late 1970's to early 1980's. Scirea impressed in the 1978 World Cup where Italy finished in fourth place. At the 1982 World Cup, after a quiet start, Italy beat Argentina and then Brazil. A 3–1 victory over West Germany in the final earned Scirea a lasting place in World Cup history. By 1986 World Cup, however, the team was in transition, and went out to France in the second round. This was to be Scirea's last match for Italy, having won 78 caps and scored 2 goals.

He retired from club football at the end of the 1987–1988 season. He took up the role of scout at Juventus.

Death[edit]

In summer 1989 Scirea visited Poland as an observer to watch Górnik Zabrze, against which Juventus was to play in the UEFA Cup. On 3 September 1989 a car carrying him collided head-on with a truck near Babsk. The car carried four canisters of gasoline in the trunk (a common practice in Poland at that time due to frequent gas shortages), which exploded upon impact, killing Scirea and two of three other passengers.

Legacy[edit]

Scirea's name has become attached to various youth tournaments and fair-play awards as a role model for sportsmanship and sporting excellence. In 2005, former Italian national team coach Enzo Bearzot proposed the retirement of the jersey number six of that national team and Juventus in recognition of Scirea's career.[4] The north stand in Juventus' former home ground Stadio Olimpico di Torino was also known as the Curva Scirea and was occupied by the ultras[clarification needed].

Honours[edit]

Juventus F.C.
Italy national football team

References[edit]

  1. ^ FIFA World Cup: Gaetano Scireafifaworldcup.yahoo.com
  2. ^ In memory of Scireajuventus.com; 3 September 2006
  3. ^ Planet World Cup: Gaetano Scirea (Italy)planetworldcup.com
  4. ^ (Italian) Article "We withdraw the number six: Scirea is inimitable". repubblica.it. Retrieved 28 January 2005. 

See also[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Giuseppe Furino
Juventus F.C. captains
1984–1988
Succeeded by
Sergio Brio