When looking at the city of Genova from an aerial point of view, beyond the port, the colorful coasts, and the mountains, four towers stand out rising from the ground in the center of the city. That is the Luigi Ferraris Stadium or, as it is commonly known, the Marassi: An architectural jewel, the oldest stadium still functioning in calcio and perhaps the most particular.
Of all the Italian names to have graced English shores, Benito Carbone is one that you may well have forgotten. He arrived at Sheffield Wednesday in 1996 amid the “European invasion” of the Premier League and, despite always becoming a fan favorite wherever he played, his time in England always seemed to have a factor that was holding him back.
Imagine a Serie A team that in the 1992-1993 season had four foreign players all coming from the same country. That team was Brescia, whose Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu had proceeded on to whip up a small Romanian colony by bringing in some of his favorite players, including international stars Gheorghe Hagi and Florin Raducioiu.
Joaquin Peiró passed away today at 84. He was a striker for the Grande Inter, an invincible lineup that won everything possible between 1962 and 1966 – Three Scudetto, two European Cups and one Intercontinental Cup. The goal Peiró scored to Liverpool in a European Cup Semi-Final invariably grabs one of the top spots in any Nerazzurro’s hall of fame.
The Premier League is home to hundreds of overseas players, but go back twenty years or so and there were much fewer in the English top-flight than there is today. Foreign players were seen as exotic, flamboyant and simply different from what English football fans were used to. One player who was certainly different, but for all the right reasons, was Gianfranco Zola.
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.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease generated by the much-famed coronavirus. Rugani is the first player from a Serie A club to be infected. Juventus and Inter issued stataments announcing that their players and staff will likely need to undergo quarantine, casting further doubts on the prosecution of their football season.
In what is an amazing underdog story from this season’s Champions League, Atalanta became the first team to book a place in the Quarter-Finals of the competition. A 4-3 win over Valencia embellished by a haul by Josip Ilicic was all the Bergamo club needed to make history. Their win was even more important given Juventus President Andrea Agnelli’s recent rant.
Italy was placed under a total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. With about three to four Serie A game-weeks now set to be outstanding after the suspension, what are the possible implications this may bring to the current season? According to multiple Italian media sources, there are now four possible scenarios after the ban.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Italy will be in a total lockdown until at least April 3 to contain the coronavirus outbreak – extending to the whole country the extreme measures originally announced yesterday for 14 provinces only. The restriction also applies to any sports activity, including the Serie A and lower divisions.
After squeezing through to the knockout stages, Atalanta’s Champions League debut is gathering pace. After a stellar performance at home by the hugely talented Italian side, they seem poised to go through. It would take a feat of epic proportions for Valencia to overturn the 4-1 advantage in a second leg which will be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus.
Under bizarre circumstances, Juventus and Inter played out a fan-less Derby d’Italia in Turin. With both opposing managers knowing what’s at stake, the match was very tactical. But it did have its moment of magic when Paulo Dybala scored the second goal for Juventus. Unfortunately, only the stadium lights and a few VIP’s were there to witness it live.