Paolo Pulici

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Paolo Pulici
Paolo Pulici.jpg
Personal information
Full name Paolino Pulici
Date of birth 27 April 1950
Place of birth Roncello, Italy
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Tritium (youth coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1966-1967 Legnano 1 (0)
1967-1982 Torino 335 (134)
1982-1983 Udinese 26 (5)
1983-1985 Fiorentina 40 (3)
Total 412 (142)
National team
1969-1972 Italy U21 9 (5)
1973-1978 Italy 19 (5)
Teams managed
1986–1989 Piacenza (Assistant)
1995– Tritium (Pulcini)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Paolo Pulici (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpaolo ˈpulitʃi]; born 27 April 1950) is a Italian football manager and former footballer who played as a striker. With 172 total goals for Torino, he is the club's leading all-time goalscorer alongside other Torino club icons Marco Ferrante (125), Valentino Mazzola (123), Ciccio Graziani (122) and Rolando Bianchi (77).

He is nicknamed Puliciclone (a name invented by Gianni Brera), or, more affectionately, Pupi.[1] From the age of 16, he has taught football at Sportiva Tritium 1908 in Trezzo sull'Adda, occupying the football school that bears his name.[2]

Club career[edit]

Initially courted by Internazionale, he was ultimately rejected as the club believed his left-foot only shooting could not match that of their striker Sandro Mazzola.[3] Torino acquired him in 1967 from Legnano and then coach Edmondo Fabbri launched him as a starter for the club in 1968–69 as a starter in Torino-Cagliari (0–0). In his first four seasons at Torino (three as starter), he played in 79 league games, only scoring 9 goals due to technical shortcomings and lack of composure in front of goal.[4]

In 1972 the coach Gustavo Giagnoni excluded Pulici from the starting lineup for a period of two months, devoting him to the technical refinement with the help of the technicians of the youth sector.[4] In the league from 1972–73 he scored 17 goals, emerging as top scorer in Serie A along with Gianni Rivera and Giuseppe Savoldi.[5] He repeated this feat in 1974–75 (18 goals) and in 1975–76, when he scored 21 goals in the season won by Torino, playing in tandem with Francesco Graziani.[5] The two were nicknamed "i gemelli del gol"[3][6] ('the twins of goal'): Pulici's goal was decisive in the final round of the season against A.C. Cesena.[7]

He played with Torino for 14 seasons, disputing 437 games, scoring 172 goals in between the league and cup competitions. In addition to the championship in 1975–76, he won second place in the league in 1976–77 and the Coppa Italia in 1971.

In subsequent years after the conquest of the Scudetto, his number of goals diminished, scoring a minimum of 3 in the 1979–80 season, coinciding with the departure of Torino head coach Luigi Radice. In 1982 he was allowed to leave Torino for free,[8] moving to Udinese; after a season in Friuli, he went to Fiorentina, with whom he ended his playing career.

International career[edit]

Pulici made his full international debut on 30 March 1973, in a 5–0 win over Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier in Genoa. His first goals were a brace on 30 December 1975 in a 3–2 friendly win over Greece in Florence, his 7th cap. He then scored in his subsequent two matches, against Portugal and the United States.[9]

In total, he played 19 matches and scored 5 goals for the Italy national football team.[10] He made the squad for two World Cups (1974 and 1978), but did not enter the field of play in either tournament.[9] Internationally, Pulici played in 19 games and scored 5 goals; often deployed in tandem with Graziani. Failing to repeat the performance offered at Torino, he was often replaced by Roberto Bettega.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring, he joined the technical staff of Piacenza as assistant coach,[1] after the Emilian club contacted him to resume athletic activities.[11] From 1986 to 1988 he was at the side of coach Battista Rota, while in the season 1988–89 he reclaimed the role of assistant coach from Enrico Catuzzi and later Attilio Perotti.[12]

Style of play[edit]

Francesco Graziani and Paolo Pulici, Torino attacking duo and champions of Italy in 1975–76

A left-footed forward[6] fast and physically strong,[4] was particularly gifted in the air and acrobatic; he was also an accomplished penalty taker.[4]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Youth[edit]

Torino: 1967–68; 1969–70

Club[edit]

Torino: 1975–76
Torino: 1970–71

Individual[edit]

1972–73 (17 goals), 1974–75 (18 goals), 1975–76 (21 goals)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ve lo ricordate Paolino Pulici? Ecco come vive". corrieredellosport.it (in Italian). Il Corriere dello Sport. 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Paolino Pulici". Storie di Calcio. 
  3. ^ a b c "PULICI - GRAZIANI : IN DUE PER UN GRANDE TORINO". Gol Calcio. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Bacci, G. ECO Sport, ed. Il calcio dietro le quinte. pp. 65–66. 
  5. ^ a b "Italy Top Scorers". RSSSF. 
  6. ^ a b "ALL TOGHETER NOW". golcalcio.it (in Italian). Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Pulici e Graziani, i gemelli nostalgia". archiviostorico.corriere.it (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 2001. p. 47. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Novellino all'Ascoli, Maldera alla Roma?" (in Italian). La Stampa. 1982. p. 17. 
  9. ^ a b "Paolo Pulici". EU-Football.info. 
  10. ^ List of Italy appearances RSSSF
  11. ^ P.Gentilotti; M.Molinaroli (December 1991). Lo sai che i papaveri...1919-1991: il Piacenza Calcio tra cronaca e storia (in Italian). p. 182. 
  12. ^ "Rosa Piacenza Calcio 1988/89". storiapiacenza1919.it. Retrieved 23 April 2014.