17 posts tagged sampdoria
17 posts tagged sampdoria
Mauro Icardi flies close to the sun
It was the moment when Sampdoria fans held their breath. Their former youth team player, Christian Puggioni, had come racing off his line on a kamikaze mission to protect the Chievo goal. When he reached the advancing Doria striker Mauro Icardi he sent a bit of everything flying. Around Italy and beyond, the young Italo-Argentinian’s list of potential suitors flinched noticeably.
Prof Claudio Mazzola, a medical consultant with the Genoese club, scampered from his seat in the stands down to the dressing rooms to check on the talented 20-year-old’s condition. There were further checks the following day as everyone anxiously awaited news. Eventually, the white smoke came, it was a nasty knock but nothing serious. The drawers containing the club chequebook could be reopened around the world.
Every Italian season throws up a new surprise goalscorer. Some of them go on to have great careers and emerge as genuine world beaters. Others turn out to be Rolando Bianchi. Few experts doubt, however, that Icardi is the real deal.
Reblogged from afootballreport
Fiorentina v Sampdoria of yesteryear - a game which finished Giancarlo Antognoni’s season.
It seemed like no matter where you hit the ball, he could bring it under control.
With a leap, a flick or an athletic stretch he made the most inaccurate pass look pinpoint precise.
Dreadlocks flowing and dancing across the turf, there was no mistaking Ruud Gullit for anyone else.
A European champion with his country, he racked up a dozen different trophies with the Rossoneri.
His managerial career never scaled the same heights but it should not overshadow memories of playing days of breathtaking skill and style.
The series returns, as it ended last season, with a missive from Football Italia and Rigore! legend Dave Taylor…
Another thoroughly famous moustache, Graeme Souness was one of the world’s most feared midfielders yet an ultra-classy player when he left Liverpool for the great Sampdoria in 1984.
At the time Samp were building for the future and the Scot steered them to their first Italian Cup win.
That wasn’t his first goal - he scored on his debut - marking his impact arrival.
Of course his forte was tackling and in that way he was a cross between Bergomi’s craftiness and Vierchowod’s up front brutality but to see him with Trevor Francis was Brit heaven - in Italy they were Gods.
There is a horrible moment between the sickening crunch of reversing your car into another vehicle and getting out to survey the damage. You hope, despite all the evidence, that perhaps things will not turn out as badly as you thought. But for Milan fans, on early indications anyway, the fears that this season may be a write-off appear well justified.
The misery among Rossoneri followers recently has been as smothering as the thickest Lombardy fog. The big name departures and cut-price arrivals have produced a pessimism far deeper than they ever thought Silvio Berlusconi’s pockets might be. After years of watching Oscar-winning performances, they are facing up to some pretty grim reality TV.
Back to the guest posts this week, courtesy of Richard Graham (@RPG_1988 on Twitter) with another glorious baldy. If you like it, check out his blog at Lazy Man’s Calcio.
With his shaven head, goatee and knee tape Juan Sebastián Verón looked more like a pirate than a footballer.
However, when the ‘Little Witch’ stepped onto the football pitch he couldn’t help but produce magic.
UEFA Cup victory with Parma, and a Scudetto with Lazio (only their second ever), gained Seba recognition as a classy and technical midfielder. Able to pick the perfect pass, Verón was an expert at dictating play.
A (Calciopoli) Scudetto with Inter followed a passport scandal and an ‘unsuccessful’ spell in England. Verón was an inspiring central midfielder and a joy for any spectator to watch.
Image via Old School Panini
Roberto Mancini is used to confounding the critics. They said Sampdoria could never win the Scudetto - but he teamed up with Gianluca Vialli to prove them wrong. Then his own Serie A colleagues questioned his coaching credentials - so he delivered silverware with every single team under his control. And now, in the most dramatic fashion, he has silenced those who thought he was not ready to manage in the English Premier League.
Image via Interleaning
Watching Roberto Mancini in pre-season training in the Tuscan hills was sometimes comedy gold. When he was under the gaze of his coach, he reluctantly did a few press-ups. But, as soon as backs were turned, he lay on the ground taking a rest. And only when any watchful eyes were upon him would he start to make an effort again.
That was back in the days of the happy Sampdoria band being put together to win that club’s one and only Scudetto. If they indulged Mancio, it was not exactly surprising. He rarely let them down on the pitch and always seemed to have a matchwinning moment of magic up his sleeve. Un cavallo di razza, they called him, a thoroughbred.
Yet if those spell-binding days and a glorious swansong with Lazio confirmed him as a Serie A legend, the same did not hold true with La Nazionale. He was impressive enough in the blue of his country, but not quite to the level that his club form promised. He would be overtaken and eclipsed, with the Azzurri anyway, by Roberto Baggio.
And there is a similar nagging doubt which has followed his managerial career - despite the trophies it has brought. There was a furore when he was fast-tracked into a coaching post at Fiorentina as the club went through financial meltdown. Many of his counterparts felt he had no right to sit on a Serie A bench without getting the proper qualifications. Mancini cocked a snook at that view by delivering a Coppa Italia.
He went out of the economic frying pan and into the fire at Lazio, another club facing monetary hardship and won another domestic cup. It was enough to convince Milanese giants Inter that he was the man who could finally deliver them the long lost title. Finally, he would have some hard cash at his disposal.
But it would take a sporting earthquake to allow him to land the Scudetto. The Calciopoli match-rigging scandal saw Juventus stripped of a couple of titles and one of them handed to Inter. Mancini followed up with more championship wins but some said they were won while many of his key rivals were either relegated or suffering severe points penalties. He found his achievements being constantly undervalued.
Whatever your point of view, some of the criticism stuck and the Nerazzurri eventually moved him on despite all the silverware he helped to bring. He couldn’t produce a Champions League winning side - it took Jose Mourinho to do that. Instead, after a break from the game, he landed another role at another big spending side - taking over from Mark Hughes at Manchester City.
There were definitely reservations among some about the wisdom of the appointment. But, after being criticised in some quarters for his cautious approach, he has now come up with a team that is in with a shout of winning the English Premier League. No doubt he has had enormous resources to do so - but you still have to get the right team out on the pitch.
But the constant questioning of his credentials at the very top of the game means the clash with Manchester United and remaining few matches are vital ones for Mancio. Surely, if he can come and win in England he will have proved himself to be an outstanding manager and worthy of the respect some will only grudgingly provide at the moment. Otherwise, there will still be those who question whether Mancini the manager is quite as magnificent as he undoubtedly was as a player.
Another guest post on a man now safely ensconced in the Sky Italia studio but who used to terrorise defences across Italy, England and beyond. Luca Cetta (@l_cetta on Twitter) pays tribute to a man of many hairstyles (well, two).
Lethal inside the penalty area with a penchant for the spectacular, Gianluca Vialli was one of the greatest strikers in his generation.
Moving to Juventus for a world record fee afforded the opportunity to repeat the Scudetto success attained at Sampdoria and complete his personal set of European honours.
Unable to completely translate his incredible domestic form to the international scene, Vialli is still remembered for his work-rate, acrobatic goals and certainly, shaving his hair.
Image via Old School Panini
Travel back in time to a clash between Sampdoria and Torino of yesteryear. It dates from the 1975/76 Serie A season when the Granata won their last Scudetto.
Among the legends on show are the likes of Paolo Pulici and Francesco Graziani and watch out for a couple of fine saves from Luciano Castellini.
Tonight the two teams are in action against one another in Serie B. May they both climb back to the top division soon.
Video via: Granatoro1