Thursday, January 29, 2015

Northern Italy(excluding Lombardy) Greatest All-Time Team

Northern Italy is consisted Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino Alto-Adige. Lombardy is so rich with football talents.  I have created a separated all-time team for them.  This is my all-time 23 member team for the rest of Northern Italy.  The region is home of Juventus, Torino, Sampdoria, Genoa, Udinese, Chievo Verona, Cesena, Parma, Brescia and Bologna.

Please also look at my all-time Italy team here and my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Italian diaspora
Southern ItalyCentral Italy.
Italy after 1982
Italy between 1938 and 1982.

GK: Dino Zoff (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
He captained the WC winning side in 1982 at the age of 40.  He held the Serie A appearance record until 2006. He was also a part of the team that won the Euro 1968. He achieved great club success with Juventus, winning 6 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italias, and an UEFA Cup, also reaching two European Champions' Cup finals in 1972-73 and 1982-83 seasons.

Dino Zoff

GK: Giampiero Combi (Piedmont)
Combi won the 1934 WC with Italy.  He was considered one of the best in the world during his time.  He spent his entire career with Juventus.  He played 351 games in Serie A, winning five titles – in 1926 (having conceded only 18 goals during the season), 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934 as part of the first golden age of the club with a record of five championship victories in a row, a feat known as Il Quinquennio d'Oro (The Golden Quinquennium).

GK: Lorenzo Buffon (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)  
Buffon was one of the best keepers in the 1950's and early 1960's.  He helped AC Milan to reach the Final of the 1958 European Cup Final.  Gianluigi Buffon's Garndfather is his cousin. 

RB: Tarcisio Burgnich (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
Throughout his career, Burgnich played for Udinese, Juventus, Palermo, Internazionale, and Napoli; although he won titles with both Juventus and Napoli, he is best known for his time with Inter Milan, where he was a member of manager Helenio Herrera's Grande Inter side.  He also participated and won the Euro 1968 with Italy. 

RB: Christian Panucci (Savona)
Panucci's breakout season was the season 1993-1994, when he played 19 games for AC Milan and won the 1994 Champions' League.  The highlight of his career was perhaps his three seasons with Real Madrid.  He helped them to win the Champions' League in 1998.  His longest stint was, however, with Roma.  He had 57 caps with Italy, but his career was very rocky.  He never secured a regular place with the team.
Christian Panucci 

SW: Armando Picchi (Liguria)
He was the captain of La Garnde Inter.  The team was transformed when Helenio Herrera moved him to the libero position and a legendary team was born.  He was capped 12 times by the Azzurri.
CB/LB: Pietro Rava (Piedmont)
He was a member of the team that won the World Cup in 1938.  He was selected to the All-tournament team.  He also won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1936.  
CB: Alfredo Foni (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
He was Pietro Rava's defensive partner for both Juventus and Italy.  They won the Olympic Gold medal in 1936 and the WC in 1938.

CB/LB: Umberto Caligaris (Piedmont)
He played 59 times for Italy between 1922 and 1936. Until the 1970's, he was Italy's record cap holder.  He won the World Cup in 1934.  He was also a key player for Juventus that won five scudettoes in a row in the years 1930–35.

CB: Virginio Rosetta (Piedmont)
He was a star defender before the Second World War. He was to on the 1934 World Cup winning team, but only played one match where he was the captain.  He won five consecutive scudetti during the 1930s with Juventus. 

LB: Luigi Allemandi (Piedmont)
He was the starting leftback for Italy at the World Cup in 1934.  He was caught for throwing a game between Torino and Juventus in 1927.  He was initially banned for life, but received a pardon in 1928.

LB: Sergio Cervato (Veneto)
Cervato started with F.C. Bolzano, but known for his career with Fiorentina. He won the scudetti with Fiorentina in 1955-56 as their captain where they only lost one match.  The club finished as runners-up for the next four consecutive years in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960. They reached the 1957 European Cup Final the following season.  He joined Juventus and spent two seasons there, winning two more scudetti.  He played 28 times for Italy.  He participated at the 1954 World Cup Finals.

DM: Romeo Benetti (Veneto)
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.He is best remembered for his 5 seasons with AC Milan, winning a Cup Winners' Cup.
Romeo Benetti

DM: Giacomo Bulgarelli (Emilia-Romagna)
He was a member of the 1962 and 1966 World Cup team.  He also won the European Championship in 1968 at home.  He spent his career mainly with Bologna.

CM: Giovanni Ferrari (Piedmont)
Ferrari was a key player as Italy won back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938. He was also a part of the great Juventus of the early 1930's.

AM: Alessandro Del Piero (Veneto)
He is considered to be one of Juventus' greatest players. He played with them for 19 years (11 years as captain), and holds the club records for most goals (289) and appearances (705).  For the national team, he played 91 times for them.  He was on the 2006 team that won the World Cup in Germany.

AM: Gianni Rivera (Piedmont)
Gianni Rivera was Italy's "Golden Boy"of the 1960's and perhaps their best player in his generation.  He won the Ballon d'Or in 1969.  He led AC Milan to win two European Cups in 1963 and 1969. He was capped 63 times, scoring 15 goals, at four World Cup Finals (1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974). Rivera is remembered for scoring the decisive goal in Italy's extra-time win over West Germany in the semi-final of Mexico 1970.
Gianni Rivera
AM: Sandro Mazzola(Piedmont)
He was a part of Inter Milan's "La Grande Inter".  He won the Euro 1968 with Italy and led them to the WC Finals in 1970.  During his career, he was known for sharing the starting position with AC Milan's Gianni Rivera on the national team. 

Sandro Mazzola
AM: Roberto Baggio (Veneto)
He was the icon of the 1990's.  He was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at Italia 1990 and then, to a second place four years later.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.
Roberto Baggio

RW/FW: Giampiero Boniperti (Piedmont)
Boniperti played his entire career with Juventus.  He was the highest goalscorer in Juventus' history for more than 40 years, until his record was bested by Alessandro Del Piero. He went to the WC Finals in 1950 and 1954.  He was capped 38 times and served as captain 24 times.

FW: Roberto Bettega (Piedmont)
Nicknamed "White Feather".  He spent most of his career with Juventus. He won 7 Serie A titles there.  He went to Argentina 1978 and was voted into the Team of the tournament.  He missed Spain 1982 because of an injury.

ST: Giuseppe Meazza (Liguria)
Meazza is one of Italy's greatest players. He led Italy winning two World Cups in 1934 and 1938.  He was probably the best player in the 1930's.  He played mainly for Inter Milan in the 1930s, scoring 242 goals in 365 games for the club.

ST: Filippo Inzaghi (Emilia-Romagna)
He is one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time, fifth in Italy, with 313 goals scored in official matches. He is currently the fourth-highest goal scorer in European club competitions with 70 goals.  With AC Milan, he won  two UEFA Champions League titles (2003, 2007).  he made his national team debut in 1997.  He went to all major tournaments from 1998 to 2006.  He won the World Cup in 2006, but only played in one match.

ST: Christian Vieri (Emilia-Romagna)
Born in Italy, but grew up in Australia.  He played for 12 clubs in his career.  He became the most expensive player in the world when Inter Milan signed him for Lazio.  For the national team, he made his debut in 1997 and played in his last game in 2006.  He missed out on the 2006 WC team.
Christian Vieri
Honorable mention
Gianluca Pagliuca (Emilia-Romagna), Christian Panucci (Savona), Claudio Marchisio(Piedmont), Cesare Maldini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia), Dino Baggio (Veneto), Lorenzo Minotti (Emilia-Romagna), Christian Maggio (Veneto), Giovanni Ferrari (Piedmont),  Luca Toni (Emilia-Romagna), Luigi De Agostini (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) .

Squad Explanation 
  • It is not surprising that a number of Juventus players were selected on my team. Turin is the home of the Old Lady after all.  The defense consisted many players from the 1930's.
  • The team consists of a few famous pairs in Italian football's history. 
  • Burgnich and Picchi were two of the most famous defenders on that great defensive unit of La Grande Italy.
  • Caligaris and Rosetta were known for their partnership for club and country.  They were replaced(sometimes played with) another pair, Foni and Rava.
  •  Gianni Rivera and Sandro Mazzola were two great players who happened to born in the same generation.  They were rivals at the club level, one played for AC Milan and the other for Inter Milan.  For the national team, they did not normally play together.  They subbed one another.
  • Roberto Baggio and Alessandro Del Piero were in similar situation.  The emerge of Del Perio in Juventus forced Baggio to leave for AC Milan.  For the national team, they also did not play together.  Baggio's career with the Azzurri were limited because of Del Piero.
  • Filippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri were great partners on nthe field and great friends off the field.  they were liked Batman and Robin.  Del Piero also played with each of them at Juventus and the Azzurri.  However, his feud with Inzaghi at Juventus led to Inzaghi's departure.

Starting Lineup
Formation 4-3-3 
  • Italy does not normally play Mazzola and Rivera together, but I could not leave them out.
  • I shouldn have start Inzaghi with Vieri, but Boniperti was too good to be ignored.

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