|Full name||Romeo Benetti|
|Date of birth||20 October 1945|
|Place of birth||Verona, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Romeo Benetti (born 20 October 1945 in Albaredo d'Adige) is a former Italian footballer, who played as a defensive midfielder. A tenacious player, Benetti played for several Italian clubs throughout his career, winning titles with A.C. Milan, Juventus and Roma. At international level, he represented the Italy national football team on 55 occasions between 1971 and 1980, and took part at the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cups, as well as UEFA Euro 1980, achieving fourth-place finishes in the latter two tournaments.
After winning the 1967–68 Serie B title with Palermo, Benetti started his Serie A career in 1968 with Juventus, making 24 appearances and scoring a goal during his first season with the club. However, he did not remain at the club for long, and he joined Sampdoria on loan during the next season. His breakthrough came in the 1970–71 Serie A season, after joining A.C. Milan in 1970, helping the club to three consecutive second place finishes in the league between 1970 and 1973. During his time at the club, he won the 1972–73 European Cup Winners' Cup, as well as two Coppa Italia trophies during the 1971–72 and 1972–73 seasons, later being named the club's captain, inheriting the armband from team-mate Gianni Rivera.
In 1976 he returned to Juventus and won the 1976–77 and 1977–78 Serie A titles, as well as the 1976–77 UEFA Cup, and the Coppa Italia during the 1978–79 season. As his career came to an end he transferred to Roma in 1979, where he remained until 1981, winning two more consecutive Coppa Italia titles before retiring.
Benetti won 55 caps for Italy between 1971 and 1980, scoring 2 goals throughout his international career. He made his debut on the 25th September 1971 against Mexico. He was member of the Italian squads that took part in the FIFA World Cup 1974, and also in the FIFA World Cup 1978, where he wore the number 10 shirt as Italy finished in fourth place; Benetti scored a goal in the first round of the tournament, in a 3–1 victory over Hungary. He also took part at the 1980 UEFA European Championship with his country, on home soil, where he helped his team to the semi-finals, eventually finishing the tournament in fourth place once again. He was voted into Italy's all time world cup team by website PlanetWorldCup.com and its members.
Style of play
Benetti was a tenacious midfielder who was known for his stamina, charisma, determination, and leadership. Although he was initially deployed as a winger, he usually played in a defensive midfield role, and his hard-tackling style of play epitomised the catenaccio tactics made famous by Italy during the 1970s. He was also known for his goal-scoring ability, despite being a predominately defensive player, due to his powerful and accurate striking ability from distance, as well as his reliable technique and distribution. In 2007 he was voted in at number 30 in a list of Football's 50 Greatest Hardmen by The Times online.
- Italian Cup: 1971–72, 1972–73; Runners-up: 1970–71, 1974–75
- UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1972–73; Runners-up: 1973–74
- Serie A Runners-up: 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73
- UEFA Super Cup Runners-up: 1973
- "Storie di Calcio: ROMEO BENETTI" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- Kevin Pogorzelski (2 June 2016). "Italy’s No.10 tasked with proving skeptics wrong". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "The all-time World Cup squads". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
- "Nazionale in cifre: Benetti, Romeo". figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- "Top 50 Hardest Footballers". empireonline.com. The Times. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
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