Roberto Bettega

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Roberto Bettega
Roberto Bettega.jpg
Personal information
Full name Roberto Bettega
Date of birth (1950-12-27) 27 December 1950 (age 63)
Place of birth Turin, Italy
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Juventus
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1983 Juventus 326 (129)
1969–1970 Varese (loan) 30 (13)
1983–1984 Toronto Blizzard 48 (11)
National team
1975–1983 Italy 42 (19)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Roberto Bettega (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto ˈbɛtteɡa]; born 27 December 1950 in Turin, Piedmont) is an Italian former footballer. Bettega was regarded as a player of noteworthy intelligence and at his prime was one of the most feared strikers.[1] Bettega is mostly remembered for his time at his hometown club Juventus. He was nicknamed La penna bianca ("White Feather") for his appearance and technical skills.

In December 2009, Bettega was officially appointed deputy director-general of Juventus. His role will be to act as an intermediate between the players and coaching staff and the upper echelons of the club, as well as taking an active involvement in all of the Old Lady's transfer dealings.

Early career[edit]

Born in Turin, Bettega joined the Juventus' Primavera squad in 1961 as a midfielder. Bettega spent the 1968–69 campaign on the bench. At the age of 19 Bettega was loaned to the Varese F.C. in Serie B. Under Nils Liedholm, the coach of Varese, Bettega hit 13 goals to help the side finish top and gain promotion to Serie A.

Nils Liedholm said of Bettega, "He allies tremendous athletic strength with impressive technical skills. He is particularly strong in the air, and can kick the ball with either foot. All he needs is to build up experience, and then he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with."

Back at Juventus, Bettega made his Serie A debut away to Catania on 27 September 1970. He scored the winning goal. Bettega ended the season with 13 goals in 28 matches. The following season, he scored 10 goals in only 14 matches.

He scored a goal against Fiorentina on 16 January 1972, but this was to be his last for a while because he was forced out of the game with a lung infection and the initial stages of tuberculosis. However, he wasn't out for long, returning on 24 September of the same year. He led the team to their second successive league title that season. With the arrival of Giovanni Trapattoni in 1976 as coach, Bettega found himself becoming the main frontman of the bianconeri; the former player to take this position, Pietro Anastasi, moved to Internazionale in the summer of that year.

Professional career[edit]

In 1975, Bettega got his first call-up to the Italian national team for a match against Finland. He went on to play in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He would surely have led the team into the 1982 tournament, but that dream came to an end when Bettega suffered knee ligament damage in a collision with an opposing goalkeeper during a 1981 European Cup match against Anderlecht. Missing out on the '82 tournament was even more painful for Bettega, since Italy won the tournament that year.

Bettega finally regained full fitness and took to the pitch for the 1982–83 season. He retired from playing in Europe after Juventus lost the 1983 European Cup Final against Hamburg in Athens.

Bettega played two summers in the NASL with the Toronto Blizzard, helping the team finish runner-ups both seasons.

In total, Bettega made 326 league appearances for Juventus and scored 129 goals[1] and enjoyed a highly successful career, winning seven league titles between 1972 and 1982, the 1977 UEFA Cup (in which he scored in the final) and two Coppa Italia. He also won the Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer) in the 1979–80 season.

International career[edit]

He played 42 times for Italy, scoring 19 goals.

Coaching career[edit]

However, he later returned to the club on the request of Umberto Agnelli, who asked him to be vice-president.[2] In late December 2009, Juventus communicated, through their official website, that Bettega was to be their new general vice-chairman.[3]

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
1969–70 Varese Serie B 30 13 0 0 - 30 13
1970–71 Juventus Serie A 28 13 3 2 11 6 42 21
1971–72 14 10 4 1 5 4 23 15
1972–73 27 8 8 1 7 2 42 11
1973–74 24 8 5 2 2 0 31 10
1974–75 27 6 10 3 10 1 47 10
1975–76 29 15 3 2 4 1 36 18
1976–77 30 17 4 1 12 5 46 23
1977–78 30 11 4 2 7 2 41 15
1978–79 30 9 9 2 2 0 41 11
1979–80 28 16 4 0 8 1 40 17
1980–81 25 5 8 3 4 3 37 11
1981–82 7 5 4 2 3 1 14 8
1982–83 27 6 7 1 6 1 40 8
Canada League Cup Continental Total
1983 Toronto Blizzard NASL 16 2 - - 16 2
1984 23 8 - - 23 8
Country Italy 356 142 73 22 81 27 510 191
Canada 39 10 - - 39 10
Total 395 152 73 22 81 27 549 201

[4]

Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
1975 2 0
1976 7 8
1977 5 6
1978 12 3
1979 2 0
1980 10 1
1981 3 1
1982 0 0
1983 1 0
Total 42 19

Personal life[edit]

Bettega has a son named Alessandro who also started his career in the Juventus system and was the captain of the Primavera team. He is now playing in the Serie C1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fußball Italien: Bettega wird neuer Sportdirektor bei "Juve"" (in German). Düsseldorf, Germany: Handelsblatt.com. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Official: Roberto Bettega Back At Juventus". Goal.com. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Roberto Bettega torna in bianconero" (in Italian). Juventus.com. Retrieved 29 April 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ Di Maggio, Roberto (9 November 2002). "Roberto Bettega - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bruno Giordano
Serie A Top Scorer
1979–80
Succeeded by
Roberto Pruzzo