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Wednesday, 11 April 2012 14:36

Gaetano Scirea

Full Name : Gaetano Scirea
Date Of Birth: May 25, 1953
Place of Birth: Cernusco s. N., Italy
Date Of Birth: September 3, 1989
Height: -
Position: Defender
National Career: 1974-1986
Caps: 78 (2)

Gaetano Scirea (May 25, 1953 - September 3, 1989) was an Italian football player who is considered one of the greatest defenders of all-tim.
Scirea is one of only five players in European football history -join to Antonio Cabrini, Sergio Brio, Stefano Tacconi and Danny Blind- to have won all national and international trophies for football clubs recognized by UEFA and FIFA. He played for the Italian national team for more than a decade during which he was almost irreplaceable as the leading defender, and became World Champion with the 1982 FIFA World Cup winning team.
Scirea was a graceful defender of great skill and tactical ability. In contrast to the ruthless tactics often employed by other defenders, Scirea was renowned for his class, fair play and sportsmanship. He was never sent off or suspended during his entire career, which is probably a football record for a defender of international level, and this says a lot about his temperament and the level of his skill.
He played the sweeper, or libero, role for most of his career, and contributed to the development of this position initiated by Franz Beckenbauer in the 1970s. Thus, Scirea would detach himself from the defensive line and contribute to the attacking potential of his team, frequently being involved in the build-up of goals, and sometimes even scoring himself.

Career

Scirea was born at Cernusco sul Naviglio, in the province of Milan.
Scirea made his Serie A debut for Atalanta against Cagliari on 24 September 1972. He remained with Atalanta for two seasons, before transferring to Juventus, with whom he would stay until the end of his playing career. In all he made 397 appearances in Serie A, scoring 24 goals. Scirea saw great success with the Italian giants, winning every possible trophy: 7 League Championships, 2 Italian Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Cup Winners' Cup, 1 European Cup, 1 European Supercup and 1 Intercontinental Cup.
Soon Scirea was called up to the Italian national team, making his debut on December 30, 1974 against Greece. He immediately became an irreplaceable pillar of the team managed by Enzo Bearzot, and played in three World Cups and one European Championship in 1980. The team of the period 1978-1982 was one of the strongest Italian sides of the post-war period. Scirea impressed in the 1978 World Cup where Italy finished in fourth place. At the 1982 World Cup, after a quiet start, Italy burst to life, beating Argentina and then Brazil in a thrilling match. A 3-1 victory over West Germany in the final earned Scirea a lasting place in World Cup history. By 1986 World Cup, however, the team was in transition, and went out to France in the second round. This was to be Scirea's last match for Italy, having won 78 caps and scoring 2 goals. But the fact that he kept the outstanding Franco Baresi out of the team for so long is indicative of his sustained brilliance.
He retired from club football at the end of the 1987-1988 season, one of the poorest in Juventus' history. Following this he took up the role of observer at Juventus, but was killed in a car crash at Skierniewice, Poland.
Scirea was there as an observer since Juventus was to play a match in the UEFA Cup against Górnik Zabrze; due to the gasoline shortages, quite common in then-economically-backward Poland it was commonplace for cars to store rather large quantities of gas canisters in their trunks.
Since then, the name of Gaetano Scirea has become attached to various youth tournaments and fair-play awards, such was his renown as a role model for sportsmanship and sporting excellence.

Honours

Club
Juventus
Seria A: 1974-75, 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1985-86 (7 Titles)
Coppa Italia: 1978-79, 1982-83 (2 Titles)
UEFA Champions League: 1984-85
UEFA Cup: 1976-77
European Super Cup: 1984
International Cup: 1994
Italy National Team
FIFA World Cup: 1982

Trivia

In 2005 former Italian national football team coach Enzo Bearzot proposed the retirement of the jersey number six of that national team and Juventus in recognition of his great career.
During the World Cups, Gai has used the jersey numbers eight (1978); seven (1982) and six (1986), more typically used for midfielders. In these tournaments he has played as sweeper.
His wife Mariella was part of Juventus staff since 1989 to 1991.

Published in Players