|Full Name : Salvatore Schillaci
Date Of Birth: December 1, 1964 (age 43)
Place of Birth: Palermo, Italy
National Career: 1990-1991
Caps: 16 (7)
Salvatore Schillaci (born December 1, 1964 in Palermo) commonly referred to by his nickname Totò, is an Italian former football player. He was the Golden Boot winner for the 1990 FIFA World Cup after leading the tournament with six goals.
Born in Palermo, Italy, from a poor family, Schillaci, nicknamed Totò, started to play for an amateur team of his native city, Amat Palermo. He then signed in 1982 for the sicilian club Messina, where he played till 1989 and showed his goal-scoring abilities. He then joined Juventus of Turin, and debuted in Serie A on August 27, 1989. Juventus, the "Old Lady" of Italian football was at the time suffering from the breakup up the wonder team which dominated Italian football in the 80s and Schillaci's arrival coincided with a return to form under the direction of former goalkeeper Dino Zoff. He featured prominently, scoring 15 goals, in a very positive year for the Turinese club which ended the season winning both the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup. Due to his inventive, aggressive attack style he was then selected by head coach of Italy, Azeglio Vicini, to play in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Italy itself, despite being an utter newbie in the arena of national team competitions.
World Cup 1990
Schillaci made his debut at the 1990 World Cup, replacing Andrea Carnevale during Italy's first match against Austria. Schillaci then scored the decisive goal, and the match eventually ended with a 1-0 win for Italy. Against the USA, Schillaci again made an appearance as a substitute.
The next match, against Czechoslovakia , was characterized by Schillaci's presence in the starting lineup, alongside Roberto Baggio. The match eventually ended 2-0, with Baggio and Schillaci scoring one goal each. In the round of 16 and quarter-finals, against Uruguay and Ireland respectively, Schillaci went on to score decisive goals for his team.
For the semifinal against Diego Maradona's Argentina, Gianluca Vialli replaced Baggio, whereas Schillaci was, of course, confirmed. The match ended 1-1, with Schillaci scoring first. The score was then tied by Claudio Caniggia, and the match was eventually won by Argentina after a penalty shootout.
For the third-place match against England, won 2-1 by Italy, and played with Schillaci and Baggio on the forward line, Totò scored the second goal from a penalty, and won the Golden Boot, with six goals. The first goal was scored by Roberto Baggio. Amazingly, those represent all but one that he scored for Italy, as he retired with just seven goals in sixteen caps.
The 1990 World Cup is still well remembered today by Italian football fans as the Notti Magiche di Totò Schillaci (magical nights of Totò Schillaci), even though the Italian national team did not win the World Cup at home.
After the end of the 1990 World Cup, Schillaci played two more years for Juventus, before joining Inter Milan. Schillaci did not leave a great record for the Inter fans, as well as for the Juventus ones, mainly because of physical troubles which he suffered after the 1990 campaign. In 1994 he joined Japanese club Jubilo Iwata, becoming the first Italian player to play in the J. League.
Schillaci retired in 1999. Today he lives back in his native Palermo, where he owns a youth academy of football. He regained some popularity in 2005 after participating in L'Isola dei Famosi, the Italian version of Survivor broadcast on Rai Due.
Coppa Italia: 1989-90
UEFA Cup: 1989-90
FIFA World Cup Best Scorer: 1990 (6)
He made an appearance in a television advert for the Irish beer, Smithwick's. The ad was originally created in the mid-90's when his goal that had eliminated Ireland from Italy 90 as well as the Irish win over Italy in U.S.A. 94 were still vivid memories in the beer's home country.
Schillaci's expressive face (and particularly his bulbous eyes) became an iconic symbol of the 1990 World Cup, particularly when pleading for free-kicks and penalties.