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Mario Corso with Inter
|Full name||Mario Corso|
|Date of birth||25 August 1941|
|Place of birth||Verona, Italy|
|A.C. Audace SME|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Mario Corso, nicknamed Mariolino (born 25 August 1941 in Verona), is an Italian former football player and coach. A famed and dynamic left winger, he is regarded as one of the greatest Italian players in his position, earning the nicknames "Mandrake" and "God's Left Foot", due to his skills, free kick technique and crossing ability.
Corso is mostly remembered for his highly successful club career at Inter, and was a key member of Helenio Herrera's Grande Inter side. He has also represented the Italy national football team on 23 occasions. After retiring, he later served as a coach for Internazionale and other teams, winning the B group of the 1987–88 Serie C2 campaign with Mantova.
Corso was an important player of Internazionale, the team with which he played almost exclusively throughout his entire career, from 1957 to 1973, winning four Serie A titles, two European Champions and two Intercontinental Cups, also reaching another European Cup final, and a Coppa Italia final. Corso made his Inter debut at the age of 16, in a Coppa Italia match against Como, which Inter won 3–0; on his debut, Corso scored the second goal of the match, becoming the youngest ever goalscorer in Inter's history. On 23 November 1957, he also made his Serie A debut, in a 5–1 win against Sampdoria, soon becoming a permanent member of the starting eleven, and later serving as captain of the squad. Corso had a role on the left wing in Helenio Herrera's Inter Milan team of the 1960s, which is known as La Grande Inter, winning consecutive Serie A, European Cup, and Intercontinental Cup titles. Following his time with Inter, Corso briefly moved to Genoa in 1973, remaining there for two seasons before retiring in 1975. In total, he played 436 matches with 78 goals in Serie A.
In total, Corso made 23 appearances for the Italian national side over ten years, scoring four goals, although he was never elected to take part in a major international tournament with Italy. He made his debut in 1961, in a 3–2 home loss against England in an international friendly match. On the 15th October 1961, he scored his first goals for Italy, scoring two goals against Israel in a 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, which Italy won 4–2 away from home. He also scored a goal in the return leg on 4 November, in Turin. Following an argument with manager Edmondo Fabbri, he was left out of Italy's 1962 FIFA World Cup squad, which was eliminated in the first round of the tournament. He returned to the starting line-up in 1964, and on 10 May, he scored his final goal for Italy in a 3–1 victory against Switzerland. He would also later be excluded from Italy's squad in their similarly disappointing 1966 FIFA World Cup campaign, as well as Italy's victorious UEFA Euro 1968 squad, which won the tournament on home soil. He was once again excluded from the Italian side that would reach the final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Corso made his final appearance for Italy on 9 October 1971, in a 3–0 victory against Sweden. Along with Giuliano Sarti, Armando Picchi, Gianfranco Bedin, and Antonio Angelillo, he is one of the most successful Italian, Inter club players to have never been called up for a World Cup. Despite his exclusion from the national side, in 1967 FIFA placed him in their All-Star team for an international friendly against Spain, in honour of goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora, winning the match 3–0.
Style of play
A predominantly left-footed player, Corso was noted for his consistency, intelligence, pace, and stamina as a winger, as well as being renowned for his accurate distribution, crossing ability, creativity, and wide range of passing with his stronger foot, which made him an effective playmaker. He was capable of playing both on the reft and right flank, due to his ability to provide crosses from the touchline on the left wing, or cut into the middle to strike on goal from the right. An atypical winger, he was notorious for his lack of tactical discipline, and often played between the lines in a free role, as a sort of attacking midfielder; because of this, he was capable of playing both as a forward and as a midfielder. He was also gifted with a good physique, as well as outstanding technical ability, close control, flair, and dribbling skills. An accurate free-kick taker, he was known in particular for his bending knuckleball free-kicks. In spite of his ability, the journalist Gianni Brera accused him of being inconsistent, lacking dynamism, and having a poor defensive work-rate, something which Corso himself denied, however; as a result, Brera gave Corso the nickname "past participle of the verb "to run"", a reference to his surname, as well as the fact that, according to Brera, Corso did not run a lot during matches, preferring to make the ball move.
- Serie A: 1962–63, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1970–71
- European Cup: 1963–64, 1964–65
- Intercontinental Cup: 1964, 1965
- Foot, John (August 2007). Winning at All Costs: A Scandalous History of Italian Soccer. Basic Books. pp. 163–164. ISBN 978-1-56858-368-6. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Mario CORSO" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
- Giovanni Marino (21 April 2010). "La vita mancina di Mario Corso "Io, tra Herrera, Pelè e Berselli"" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
- "I 70 anni dell' insolente Mariolino il sinistro che creò la foglia morta" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2017.