Paolo Pulici

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Paolo Pulici
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)
Youth career
19??–1967 Legnano
1967–1968 Torino
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 (Youth)

* 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, he is Torino's leading goal-scorer of all time.

He is nicknamed Puliciclone (a name invented by Gianni Brera), or, more affectionately, Pupi.[1] Since 1990, he has taught football at Sportiva Tritium 1908 in Trezzo sull'Adda, a football school that bears his name.[2]

In 2014 he was inducted into the Torino Hall of Fame; he was the first player to ever be elected in the "Forwards" category.[3]

Club career[edit]

Pulici capocannoniere.jpg

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.[4] Torino acquired from Legnano in 1967 and the then coach, Edmondo Fabbri, launched him as a starter in the 1968–69 season as a starter in Torino-Cagliari (0–0). In his first four seasons at Torino (three as starter), he played in 79 league games, but only scored nine goals due to technical shortcomings and his lack of composure in front of goal.[5]

In 1972 the coach Gustavo Giagnoni excluded Pulici from the starting lineup for a period of two months, devoting him to technical refinement with the help of the coaches of the youth team.[5] In 1972–73 he emerged as the top scorer in Serie A with 17 goals along with Gianni Rivera and Giuseppe Savoldi.[6] He repeated this feat in 1974–75 (18 goals) and in 1975–76, when he scored 21 goals in the season won by Torino, played in tandem with strike-partner Francesco Graziani.[6] The pair were nicknamed "i gemelli del gol"[4][7] ('the twins of goal'): Pulici's goal was decisive in the final round of the season against A.C. Cesena.[8]

He played with Torino for 14 seasons, disputed 437 official games and scored 172 goals between league and cup competitions. In addition to the Scudetto won in 1975–76, he finished 2nd place in the league in 1976–77 and a Coppa Italia trophy in 1971.

In subsequent years his number of goals diminished, with a minimum of 3 goals in the 1979–80 season, which coincided with the departure of Torino head coach Luigi Radice. In 1982 he was allowed to leave Torino for free,[9] moving to Udinese; after a season in Friuli, he went to Fiorentina, with whom he ended his playing career.

International career[edit]

Pulici (kneeling, second from the right) with Italy U-23 in 1976

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.[10]

In total, he played 19 matches and scored 5 goals for the Italy national football team.[11] He made the squad for two World Cups (1974 and 1978), but did not enter the field of play in either tournament.[10] 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.[4]

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.[12] 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.[13]

Style of play[edit]

A left-footed forward,[7] fast and physically strong,[5] Pulici was particularly gifted in the air and acrobatic; he was also an accomplished penalty kick taker.[5]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Torino

Individual[edit]

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. ^ http://www.quotidianopiemontese.it/2014/11/20/nasce-hall-of-fame-toro-3-dicembre-cerimonia-per-i-primi-5-granata-indimenticabili/
  4. ^ a b c "PULICI - GRAZIANI : IN DUE PER UN GRANDE TORINO". Gol Calcio. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Bacci, G. ECO Sport, ed. Il calcio dietro le quinte. pp. 65–66. 
  6. ^ a b "Italy Top Scorers". RSSSF. 
  7. ^ a b "ALL TOGHETER NOW". golcalcio.it (in Italian). Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Pulici e Graziani, i gemelli nostalgia". archiviostorico.corriere.it (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 2001. p. 47. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Novellino all'Ascoli, Maldera alla Roma?" (in Italian). La Stampa. 1982. p. 17. 
  10. ^ a b "Paolo Pulici". EU-Football.info. 
  11. ^ List of Italy appearances RSSSF
  12. ^ P.Gentilotti; M.Molinaroli (December 1991). Lo sai che i papaveri...1919-1991: il Piacenza Calcio tra cronaca e storia (in Italian). p. 182. 
  13. ^ "Rosa Piacenza Calcio 1988/89". storiapiacenza1919.it. Retrieved 23 April 2014.