|Full Name : Sandro Mazzola
Date Of Birth: November 8, 1942
Place of Birth: Turin, Italy
National Career: 1963-1974
Caps: 70 (22)
Alessandro ("Sandro") Mazzola (born November 8, 1942) is an Italian former football player. He is the son of Valentino Mazzola, who was killed in the Superga air disaster in 1949, and one of the most renowned Italian football players of 1960s. He played for the Inter Milan team known as La Grande Inter. He was an inside right with top goalscoring instincts. He was also blessed with superb creativity helped by his pin point passing, dribbling and ball control.
Alessandro Mazzola was born in Turin, Italy a few weeks after his father joined Torino FC from Venezia A.C.. His younger brother, Ferruccio, who was named after the president's Torino FC was born two years later. His parents divorced in 1946, but his father gained custody of Sandro Mazzola. He was 6 years old when his father died.
Sandro Mazzola and his brother Ferruccio signed for Inter Milan. He played all his career for Internazionale of Milan, scoring 116 Serie A goals. His Serie A debut was for Inter against Juventus on June 10, 1961, when his team lost 9-1. A year before his debut, Helenio Herrera arrived from FC Barcelona as the coach of Inter Milan. He brought Luis Suarez from FC Barcelona as his midfield general, he had Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti as his fullbacks, Brazlian Jair as his wing, Mario Corso as a the left midfielder, Armando Picchi as his sweeper, and Mazzola who eventually played the game in the inside-right position. Together, they would transfer the club into the best in Europe. They were known for their defensive tactic known as catenaccio. In 1964, Mazzola scored twice to beat Real Madrid in the 1964 European Cup Final to emulate A.C. Milan's feat of the previous season. They would defend their title again the following season by beating SL Benfica in the Final. The following season, they made it to their third straight Final, but lost to Celtic F.C. with Mazzola scoring one goal.
Mazzola also played 70 times for Italy, scoring 22 goals. His debut for the national side was against Brazil on May 12, 1963, when he was aged only 20. Mazzola played for his country at the 1966, 1970, and 1974 FIFA World Cups. His biggest achievement came in 1968 when Italy won the 1968 European Championship. Two years later, Italy arrived at the the World Cup in Mexico as favorite. The Italian coach Ferruccio Valcareggi believed that Sandro Mazzola could not play together on the pitch at the same time with other Italian star player Gianni Rivera. By second round, he devised a solution he called "staffetta" (relay) to play both players. Mazzola would start in the first half while Rivera would come in at half time. With this strategy, Italy reached the Final against Pele's Brazil for the first time in 32 years. The match was billed as the battle between offensive and defensive football, but on game day, Ferruccio Valcareggi abandoned his "staffetta" policy and only used Mazzola until the very end. Gianni Rivera finally went into the game with 8 minutes to go. Two of Italy's biggest stars finally united together on the pitch where many people believed they should have been all along, but it was too late. Brazil won 4-1.
Four years later, Ferruccio Valcareggi finally used the two together, but Italy was an aging side.
Serai A: 1962-63, 1964-65, 1965-66, 1970-71(4 Titles)
UEFA Champions League: 1963-64, 1964-65 (2 Titles)
International Cup: 1964, 1965 (2 Titles)
Italy National Team
UEFA Championship: 1968
FIFA World Cup
Serie A Top Scorer: 1964-65 (17)