Napoli Mourn the Passing of Long-Time Linchpin Juliano

Napoli stalwart Antonio Juliano has passed away at 80. He had been hospitalized in recent days as his condition worsened due to a severe illness. He spent 17 seasons with the Azzurri in the ’60s, and ’70s, captaining them for 12 campaigns, Corriere dello Sport relays.

The elegant midfielder collected over 500 appearances with the Partenopei across all competitions before finishing his career with Bologna. He was born and raised in the city and debuted in the pros in 1961. He was a pivotal part of the squad that almost won the title with iconic coach Luis Vinicio at the helm in 1975. Juventus, led by José Altafini at the time, pipped them at the post.

Juliano played 18 matches with Italy, contributing to the triumph in the 1968 European Champions. He was called up for three World Cups between 1966 and 197, but he wasn’t a regular for the Azzurri. He came off the bench late in the final against Brazil in Mexico City in 1970.

The staple lifted the Coppa Italia twice, in 1962 and 1976, and the defunct Cup of the Alps and the Anglo-Italian League Cup.

Juliano returned to Napoli as an executive after retiring while Corrado Ferlaino owned the club. He played a role in bringing Ruud Kroll to Campania in 1980 and especially Diego Armando Maradona in 1984, swaying the president despite the costs of the deal.

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