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 64)
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 in his prime, he was one of the most feared Italian strikers, due to his prolific goalscoring ability.[1] He also was regarded as a complete and modern player, as he was capable of playing both as a midfielder and as a forward; he was usually used as a centre-forward earlier on in his career, and he was deployed as a supporting striker, or as an attacking midfielder in his later career, after losing some pace and mobility. Bettega is mostly remembered for his time at his hometown club Juventus. He was nicknamed La penna bianca ("White Feather") for his appearance, vision, passing ability, and technical skills.[1][2]

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.[1]

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."[3]

Professional career[edit]

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.[1]

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, although he was still able to contribute to Juventus's Serie A title victory that season. He was not out for long, and returned on 24 September of the same year, leading 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 in the late 70s; the former player to take this position, Pietro Anastasi, moved to Internazionale in the summer of that year, and Bettaga partnered with his replacement, Roberto Boninsegna, leading the team to notable domestic and European success during this period, including back to back Serie A titles, a Coppa Italia, and an UEFA Cup triumph; Juventus also reached the European Cup final during the 1972-73 season, as well as the Intercontinental Cup final, and managed a semi-final finish in the 1979-80 European Cup Winners' Cup.[1]

Bettega won the Serie A title with Juventus yet again during the 1980-81 season, but did not feature extensively in Juventus's victorious defense of their Serie A campaign during the 1981-82 season, as he suffered knee ligament damage in a collision with an opposing goalkeeper during a 1981 European Cup match against Anderlecht. After finally regaining full fitness, he took to the pitch for the 1982–83 season, which would be his final season with the club, winning his second Coppa Italia. He retired from playing in Europe after Juventus lost the 1983 European Cup Final against Hamburg in Athens. In total, Bettega made 326 league appearances for Juventus and scored Serie A 129 goals[4] 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 titles. He also won the Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer) in the 1979–80 season. Regarded as one of Juventus's best ever players, Bettega scored 179 goals for Juventus in all competitions, in 490 matches, including 22 goals in 74 Coppa Italian matches, and 27 goals in 81 European matches.[5][1]

After retiring from European football, Bettega played two summers in the NASL with the Toronto Blizzard, helping the team to two second place finishes during his two seasons with the club.[2]

International career[edit]

Battega played 42 times for Italy, scoring 19 goals between 1975-1983. 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 where he scored two goals to help Italy reach the semi-final, where they were defeated by the Netherlands. Italy came in fourth after losing the third place play-off to Brazil at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespuci, Buenos Aires. Bettega was named as part of the Team of the Tournament for his performances. Bettega also helped Italy to a fourth place finish at the 1980 European Championship on home soil. He was set to represent Italy at the 1982 edition of the tournament, but he suffered a knee ligament injury in a collision with an opposing goalkeeper during a 1981 European Cup match against Anderlecht, missing out on the '82 tournament, in which Italy were victorious.[2][1][6]


Coaching career[edit]

However, he later returned to the club on the request of Umberto Agnelli, who asked him to be vice-president.[7] In late December 2009, Juventus communicated, through their official website, that Bettega was to be their new general vice-chairman.[8]

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

[9]

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.

Honours[edit]

Juventus[1]
Varese

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Gli eroi in bianconero: Roberto BETTEGA". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Il Pallone Racconta: Roberto Bettega". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Roberto Bettega". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fußball Italien: Bettega wird neuer Sportdirektor bei "Juve"" (in German). Düsseldorf, Germany: Handelsblatt.com. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  5. ^ "Roberto Bettega". Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nazionale in cifre: Bettega, Roberto". http://www.figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  7. ^ "Official: Roberto Bettega Back At Juventus". Goal.com. 23 December 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Roberto Bettega torna in bianconero" (in Italian). Juventus.com. Retrieved 29 April 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ 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