Giampiero Boniperti

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Giampiero Boniperti
GiampieroBoniperti.jpg
Personal information
Full name Giampiero Boniperti
Date of birth (1928-07-04) 4 July 1928 (age 86)
Place of birth Barengo, Italy
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1946–1961 Juventus 444 (178)
National team
1947–1960 Italy 38 (7[1])
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Giampiero Boniperti (born 4 July 1928 in Barengo, Piedmont) is an Italian former football player who played his entire career at Juventus between 1946 and 1961. He also played for the Italian national football team. After retirement from professional football, Boniperti has been a president of Juventus and a deputy to the European Parliament.

With 182 goals in all-competitions, Boniperti was the highest goalscorer in Juventus' history for more than 40 years, until his record was bested by Alessandro Del Piero (who was himself signed by Boniperti in 1993) on 10 January 2006. Del Piero also broke his appearance record on 14 February 2010 when he played his 445th Serie A game. Boniperti is regarded as one of the greatest Italian players of all time. He began his career as a striker, emerging to prominence as a prolific goalscorer for much of his career, supported by star team mates such as John and Karl Aage Hansen, and Karl Aage Præst. In the later part of his career, as he lost his pace, he moved into a deeper position, functioning as a creative second striker, an attacking midfielder, winger, or even as a midfield playmaker. Due to his excellent ball control, technical ability, vision, and passing range, he excelled as an assist provider during the final few years for his career, creatively supporting his more offensive team mates John Charles and Omar Sívori.[2] Notably, Boniperti is the eleventh-highest goalscorer of all-time in Serie A and was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Biography[edit]

Boniperti signed for Juventus at age 16, he had already built himself a reputation prior to this at youth level, as he scored 11 goals in one match.

The youngster played his first match for the Old Lady in Serie A on 2 March 1947 against A.C. Milan, unfortunately for Boniperti it ended in a 2–1 defeat. His first goal for them in the league was three months later, against Sampdoria. Juventus ended the Serie A 1946-47 season as runners-up to local rivals Torino, Giampiero ended the season with 5 goals in 6 games to his name.

Although he began as a centre forward he was a flexible player, and could play also as an inside forward or on the right wing. His second season with Juventus really put him on the map, he was only just 20 years old, but scored 27 goals during that season, he finished above Valentino Mazzola as the league's topscorer.

Boniperti's first league championship with Juventus was during the 1949–50 season. His scoring rate remained prolific and by his 24th birthday he had scored 100 goals for the Turin giants, adding a second scudetto title to his name in 1951–52. For much of the 1950s Juve and Boniperti struggled to put the club back to the top of the Italian championship.

However, in 1957 La Vecchia Signora signed two forwards; John Charles and Omar Sivori, along with them Boniperti would be a part of what was referred to as "the Magical Trio". The three players excelled impeccably together, during last four seasons at the club Juventus dominated and won Serie A three times (1957–58, 1959–60 and 1960–61) and the Coppa Italia twice (1958–59 and 1959–60).

Retirement[edit]

At the time of retirement, Boniperti was Juventus' all-time top goalscorer with 182 in all competitions, this record would stand for over 40 years before Alessandro Del Piero broke it on 10 January 2006. Currently, Giampiero Boniperti is the second top goalscorer of all-time at Juventus and is sixth on the list of all-time top appearances for the club. He held the record for most Serie A appearances at Juventus with 444 games until long-serving player and former Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero broke it in February 2010 when he started the match against Genoa.[3]

A short while after his retirement, the Agnelli family offered Boniperti an executive position in the club management, where he was President for many years; to this day he still has a role at the club as honorary president.[4] From 1994 until 1999, Boniperti was elected as a deputy in the European Parliament with Forza Italia.

His grandson Filippo has followed in his footsteps and plays for the Juventus Primavera (U-20) team and the Italy U-19 team as a midfielder.[5][6]

International[edit]

After playing only 14 games in the Serie A league, Boniperti was called up to play for the Italian national football team, for a game against Austria, the match ended in a humiliating 5–1 drubbing to the Austrian side.

He got even with Austria a couple of years later, when in May 1949 he scored his first international goal for Italy, with a 3–1 victory. Although Boniperti's international career was not particularly great he did manage to achieve 38 caps (24 of which he played as captain) and scored 8 goals for the azzurri. Boniperti played for Italy in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cup finals.[7]

Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
1946–47 Juventus Serie A 6 5 0 0 - - 6 5
1947–48 40 27 1 1 - - 41 28
1948–49 32 15 2 0 - - 34 15
1949–50 35 21 0 0 - - 35 21
1950–51 38 22 2 1 - - 40 23
1951–52 33 19 1 1 - - 34 20
1952–53 29 7 2 0 - - 31 7
1953–54 30 14 0 0 - - 30 14
1954–55 27 9 1 0 - - 28 9
1955–56 31 6 0 0 0 0 31 6
1956–57 24 4 2 1 0 0 26 5
1957–58 34 8 0 0 0 0 34 8
1958–59 26 8 2 0 1 0 29 8
1959–60 31 7 1 0 0 0 32 7
1960–61 28 6 0 0 1 0 29 6
Total Italy 444 178 14 4 2 0 460 182
Career total 444 178 14 4 2 0 460 182

Honours[edit]

Juventus

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result
1. 22 May 1949 Stadio Comunale, Florence, Italy  Austria 3–1 Win
2. 25 November 1951 Cornaredo Stadium, Lugano, Switzerland   Switzerland 1–1 Draw
3. 24 January 1954 San Siro, Milano, Italy  Egypt 5–1 Win
4. 24 January 1954 San Siro, Milano, Italy  Egypt 5–1 Win
5. 17 June 1954 Stade Olympique, Lausanne, Switzerland   Switzerland 1–2 Loss
6. 16 January 1955 Stadio della Vittoria, Bari, Italy  Belgium 1–0 Win
7. 18 November 1955 Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy  West Germany 2–1 Win
8. 10 November 1960 Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy  Austria 1–2 Loss

References[edit]

See also[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Carlo Parola
Juventus F.C. captains
1954–61
Succeeded by
Omar Sivori