Pietro Vierchowod

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Pietro Vierchowod
Personal information
Date of birth (1959-04-06) 6 April 1959 (age 55)
Place of birth Calcinate, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Youth career
1973–1976 Romanese
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1981 Como 115 (6)
1981–1982 Fiorentina 28 (2)
1982–1983 Roma 30 (0)
1983–1995 Sampdoria 358 (25)
1995–1996 Juventus 21 (2)
1996–1997 Milan 16 (1)
1997–2000 Piacenza 79 (6)
Total 647 (42)
National team
1982–1993 Italy 45 (2)
Teams managed
2001 Catania
2002 Florentia Viola
2005 Triestina
2014 Budapest Honvéd
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Pietro Vierchowod (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpjɛtro ˈvjɛrkovud], Ukrainian: Петро Іванович Верховод, Russian: Пётр Иванович Верховод; born 6 April 1959) is an Italian former footballer and current manager. He also represented the Italian national side during his career.

During his playing career he was nicknamed lo Zar (the Tsar) because of his descent, since he was the son of a Ukrainian Red Army soldier. A tenacious and physical player, Vierchowod was regarded as one of the greatest and toughest Italian defenders of the 80s and the 90s, due to his speed, immense strength, aggression, tight marking, hard tackling, and anticipation.[1][2][3]

Club сareer[edit]

Vierchowod was a man-marker (centre-back). He started his professional football career for Como, before moving to Fiorentina. However, his first successes came when he moved to Roma, winning a Serie A scudetto in 1983. Then he moved to Sampdoria, with whom he won four Italian Cups, one European Cup Winners' Cup and another scudetto in 1991. In 1995 he signed for Juventus, where he acted as an experienced defender and won his only UEFA Champions League in 1996 at the age of 37. He played the final in Rome against Ajax which Juve won on penalties. He then moved on to Milan and Piacenza, for whom he continued to play regularly despite being 41 years of age. He eventually retired in 2000. Vierchowod played 562 Serie A matches, being fifth only to Paolo Maldini, Gianluca Pagliuca, Dino Zoff and Javier Zanetti.

Talking to Argentine magazine El Gráfico, Argentine footballer Diego Maradona dubbed Vierchowod his toughest opponent,[4] stating that "[Vierchowod] was an animal, he had muscles to the eyelashes. It was easy to pass by him, but then when I raised my head, he was in front of me again. I would have to pass him two or three more times and then I would pass the ball because I couldn't stand him anymore".

Gary Lineker also revealed in an interview with FourFourTwo that Vierchowod was "the hardest defender he ever faced" adding "he was absolutely brutal and lightning quick. He gave me one or two digs."[5]

International career[edit]

Verchowod was capped 45 times with the Italy national team, scoring two goals. He was one of the players in the Italian squad, although he did not play, that won the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Verchowod also made three appearances at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, as Italy finished in third place. He is also the oldest goalscorer in the history of the Italy national team: he scored in a qualification match against Malta on 24 March 1993, which ended in a 6–1 win for the Azzurri. Vierchowod also competed for Italy at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[6]

Coaching career[edit]

After his playing career, Vierchowod coached Catania of Serie C1, Florentia Viola (now Fiorentina) of Serie C2 and Triestina of Serie B. In all of the circumstances, he was fired before the end of the season.

On 13 June 2014, Vierchowod was announced as the new coach of the Hungarian club, Budapest Honvéd,[7] but after the team's poor performance on 6 October he was fired.[8]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Roma
Sampdoria
Juventus

International[edit]

Italy

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pietro Vierchowod: l'ultimo zar". Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Vierchowod: E adesso mi dedico a Balbo". Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Profilo: Pietro VIERCHOWOD". Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  4. ^ http://www.elgrafico.com.ar/2008/09/10/C-120-basile-se-olvido-de-los-codigos.php?vv=1&vote=2
  5. ^ "Gary Lineker on his England career". FourFourTwo. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Pietro Vierchowod Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  7. ^ "Vierchowod az új edző" (in Hungarian). Budapest Honved. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kirúgták a Honvéd edzőjét" (in Hungarian). index.hu. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.