Full Name : Silvio Piola
Date Of Birth: August 23, 1910
Place of Birth: Rapallo, Italy
Date Of Death: August 21, 1979 (aged 68)
Height: 1.69 m (5 ft 6+1⁄2 in)
National Career: 1963-1972
Caps: 53 (33)
Silvio Piola (September 29, 1913 - October 4, 1996) was an Italian footballer from Robbio Lomellina, province of Pavia. He is known as a highly prominent figure in the history of Italian football due to several records he set. Piola won the 1938 FIFA World Cup with Italy, scoring two goals in the final.
Piola is third in the all-time goalscoring records of the Italian national team. He is also the highest goalscorer in Serie A history, with 274 goals, 49 ahead of anyone else. He played 537 Serie A games, putting him 4th on the all-time list for appearances in Italy's top flight. Along with Carlo Parola, he is also considered as the "inventor" of the bicycle kick.
Piola began his career with Italian club side Pro Vercelli, making his Serie A debut against Bologna on February 16, 1930, scoring 13 goals in his first year, at the age of 17. He went on to score 51 goals in 127 appearances in Serie A for Pro Vercelli.
In 1934, he moved to Lazio, who had been on the receiving end of his first Serie A goal on November 11, 1930. He was to spend the next nine seasons there. Piola was the Serie A top scorer twice while at Lazio, in 1937 and 1943.
After leaving Lazio, he spent war-torn 1944 at Torino, where he scored an amazing 27 goals in just 23 games. Towards the end of the war, he joined Novara. Then, from 1945 to 1947, Piola played for Juventus, before moving back to Novara, where he stayed for seven more seasons.
His first game for Italy came against Austria on March 24, 1935, when he also scored his first goal for the team. He was a World Cup winner in 1938, when he scored two of Italy's goals in the 4-2 victory over Hungary.
Piola went on to play 34 games for Italy and score 30 goals, a tally that would surely have been greater if not for the interruption caused by World War II. His last international appearance was in 1952, when Italy drew 1-1 with England. He died in Gattinara in 1996, aged 83.
Italy National Team
FIFA World Cup: 1938
Serie A, Top Scorer: 1936-37, 1942-43