The name of Enzo Maresca probably won’t ring any bell to most Juventus fans, especially the younger ones. After all, this journeyman midfielder collected only 37 caps for the Bianconeri across 4 seasons. Still, Maresca is mostly remembered at Juventus for his famous celebration after scoring in a Derby della Mole against cross-town rivals Torino.
There is something that Cristiano Ronaldo shares with Diego Maradona, when it comes to his Serie A debut. Just like for the Argentinian legend, CR7’s first match in Italy took place at the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona. Juventus played Chievo in their Serie A 2018-19 opening match, whereas Napoli traveled to Verona to face Hellas in the 1984-85 season.
“Pazza” Inter. Crazy Inter. No team in Italy can take their fans on a rollercoaster of emotions like the Nerazzurri. A game that truly exemplifies the unpredictable attitude of Inter is their epic comeback from January 9, 2005, when they were down 0-2 to Sampdoria at the San Siro with just 7 minutes to go, but still managed to collect an incredible win.
Inter’s history is filled with a special affiliation to controversial, charismatic managers, whose pioneer was without doubt Helenio Herrera. Every die-hard Nerazzurri fan would be forever grateful to that man, who would later become referred to as Il Mago (“The Wizard”) and who forged the legendary epoch of the Grande Inter during the 1960s.
For all football fans, he will always remain Ronaldo’s first manager in the Serie A. Luigi “Gigi” Simoni, a football coach and a gentleman, passed away on Friday at 81. His name is mostly linked to the 1997-98 season when he led Inter to win the UEFA Cup but lost his Scudetto chances in a controversial game against Juventus.
In the long history of the Serie A league championship, there was one single occasion where a playoff was necessary to determine the Scudetto winner. It happened at the end of the 1963-64 season, when Fulvio Bernardini’s Bologna found themselves at top of the league with 54 points, together with the title holder – Helenio Herrera’s legendary Inter squad.
The tale of Lazio winning their first Scudetto in 1974 is a story of fights, quarrels, and kicks during training sessions. A story of weapons inside the changing rooms and internal tensions. And of a miracle that repeated itself every Sunday on the field, when coach Tommaso Maestrelli managed to turn tensions into a desire to win and striker Giorgio Chinaglia executed.
On May 5th, 2002, three teams were still battling for the Scudetto with only 90 minutes to go. Inter, leading the ranks with 69 points, were due to play Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. It was supposed to be an easy win for the Nerazzurri, in view of their long-lasting friendship with the Roman side. But Lazio’s midfielder Karel Poborsky had a different idea…
Scoring a decisive goal in a Serie A derby can earn you a place in your supporters’ dearest collective memory. But if that goal enables your team to break a six-year non-winning streak in the Milano stracittadina, then your place in the History of Italian football is set in stone forever. That is exactly what happened to British striker Mark Hateley in 1984.
When Milan acquired 29-year-old George Weah from PSG in the summer of 1995, many commentators raised their eyebrows. “King George” would, however, prove them wrong and become an iconic player for the Milanese side, remembered for such exploits as the coast-to-coast goal he scored against Verona in the opening game of the 1996-97 season.
It doesn’t happen very often that Roma and Lazio can face each other with a title at stake. Lazio, however, can pride themselves on having beaten their bitter enemies in a Coppa Italia Final, thanks to a lone goal by Senad Lulic in the 71st minute. From that day, the expression “Lulic71” has become a sweet, obsessive mantra in the mind of any Biancoceleste fan.
Oh, those good old days when one could see Roberto Baggio and Diego Maradona facing each other in the Serie A. When the two used to meet, the game could never be an ordinary one: It was September 17, 1989, indeed, when a young Baggio took the luxury of scoring a sensational goal which clearly resembled Maradona’s Gol del Siglo at the World Cup 1986.