Gaetano Scirea: 100-word hero #20
He could anticipate an opposition striker’s thoughts before they were fully formed. With elegance and style, he emerged with the ball and strode forward to instigate another deadly counter-attack. An oasis of calm and fair play in the frantic and cynical world of Calcio, he was proof that nice guys could be winners with a World Cup, all three major European trophies, Intercontinental glory and...
Matija Nastasic: a bright spot in Fiorentina's...
For Pantaleo Corvino, and most sporting directors, there is always the regret of the one that got away. In his case, the biggest name he almost brought to Fiorentina was Nemanja Vidic. He thought he had done a deal to snap up the Serbian defender – until Manchester United pinched the player from under his nose. That was back when he still had his transfer market mojo but, lately, the big man...
Fears for Fiorentina and the echoes of relegation...
There are few statements in football more foolish and futile than telling someone their side is “too good to go down”. The story of Serie A is littered with teams which appeared to have too much quality to drop into the Second Division. Fiorentina fans know to their cost how painful such an assumption can be. Results at the weekend have put the Viola just four points above a...
Hernan Crespo: 100-word hero #19
Another guest post this time, one from Football Italia legend Dave Taylor again. Argentina international Hernan Crespo needs no introduction to true followers of Serie A after being one of the best strikers of his generation. Adored by fans of every club he played for, the complete striker was part of Parma’s golden generation. The honours came with Lazio, Inter (where he won three...
It wasn’t easy to come here and create plenty of chances. I’ve got...– Ciro Ferrara, post France v Italy U21 1-1 draw.
Riccardo Ferri: 100-word hero #18
Before Javier Zanetti, there was another perfect coiffure in black and blue. Brought through the Inter ranks, the Crema kid became a fixture for club and country through the 1980s and early 1990s. As prone to own goals as those at the other end he was part of the Nerazzurri’s record breaking points total 1989 Scudetto and played more than 400 games for the club. Two UEFA Cups came his...
Milan v Arsenal: the Supercup success in the eye...
They are quite rightly proud of their international trophy cabinet in Milan. The official website boasts of being the club with the most titles in the world. But there is one piece of silverware in their history which was won with a whimper. Context is everything and 17 years ago the Rossoneri were in the eye of a footballing storm. Their visit to the Stadio Marassi to play Genoa at the end of...
Mirko Vucinic: Hundred-word hero #17
Another guest, this time Enzo Giordani (@EnzoGiordani) on Twitter. If you like it, you can read more at his blog In the Back of the Net. Read the rest of the series here. He was brooding. He was temperamental. He could fail to hit the side of a barn one minute, score sublimely the next. He was our Montenegrin flawed genius. He was Vucigol. He had a knack for the dramatic. A last minute goal...
Fabio Capello's letter to the next England manager
Found pinned under a desk at FA headquarters, a hastily scribbled note with a Friuli phone number attached for further information. At least, that’s how I’ve imagined it… To whom it may concern (probably ‘Arry), I just wanted to leave you a few words of advice before I fly out of the country never to be seen again. They might come in handy as you take over the helm at...
John Charles: 100-word hero #16
We dip deep into history, courtesy of Ratul Chakraborty (@maxratul on Twitter), for a real Juventus legend. One of the best centre forwards of all time, and also one of the best central defenders of his generation - yet John Charles will always be remembered as the greatest gentleman to have ever played football. From Swansea to Leeds to Turin and Rome, he is adored as the “ideal” which mere...
Fiorentina v Udinese. How Jovetic, Cassani and a gust of wind put a smile back on my face…