Full Name : Claudio Gentile
Date Of Birth: September 27, 1953
Place of Birth: Tripoli, Libya
National Career: 1975-1984
Caps: 71 (1)
Claudio Gentile (born 27 September 1953) is an Italian football coach and former player of the 1970s and 1980s. One of the toughest and roughest defenders in the history of the game, Gentile was a key part of both the World Cup winning Italy team of 1982, and the success of Juventus of the period. He was tough but not a vicious bone-breaker and he was never red-carded during his career.
Born in Tripoli, Libya, Gentile started his career as a full back but soon switched to the role of central defence after signing for Juventus FC in 1973. In over a decade in Turin, Gentile won two major European club competitions, six scudettos, and two Italian Cups. During this time he also earned 71 caps for Italy. In 1984 he moved to Fiorentina where he spent three further years in Serie A, before retiring from football in 1988 after one further season for Serie B side Piacenza.
Gentile's finest hour came on July 11, 1982 when he produced an immaculate defensive display alongside fellow defender Gaetano Scirea, as Italy defeated West Germany 3-1 to lift the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. Gentile came to international acclaim in the 2nd phase match against holders Argentina, when he man-marked Diego Maradona out of the game by kicking and flooring him constantly throughout the game. In Italy's next match against favourites Brazil he first performed a violent tackle from behind on Zico and later ripped the Brazilian's shirt in half during a tussle.
There are many humorous stories involving Gentile within the footballing world. One is that during the Ballon d'Or (European Footballer of the Year) awards ceremony in the late 1970s English centre forward Kevin Keegan was announced as the winner. As Keegan walked towards the host to collect his award he passed the seat where Gentile was sitting. As Keegan walked past Gentile is reported to have stuck out his foot and tripped up Keegan. As Keegan was getting to his feet Gentile reputedly whispered into his ear, "You wouldn't have won any award if I had been marking you".
Gentile coached the Italy Under-21 National Team from October 2000 to July 2006. He had a well-publicised falling out with Antonio Cassano whilst the Real Madrid player was eligible to play for his team. So far his stint as a coach has been a successful one. His team won the UEFA 2004 tournament finals but failed to advance to the second round in the UEFA 2006 tournament finals. In July 2006, Gentile was dismissed from his Under-21 coaching position and replaced by Pierluigi Casiraghi.
Serie A: 1994-95, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1985-86 (6 Titles)
Coppa Italia: 1978-79, 1982-83
UEFA CUP Winners Cup: 1983-84
Uefa Cup: 1976-77
Italy National Team
FIFA World Cup: 1982