R.I.P. Enzo Bearzot

Enzo Bearzot with the President of Italy Sandro Pertini after the 1982 World Cup Final
Enzo Bearzot with the President of Italy Sandro Pertini after the 1982 World Cup Final

Enzo Bearzot (picture ©Presidenza della Repubblica), a legend of football particularly remembered as manager of Italian national football team, died this morning.

Born in Aliello del Friuli on September 26, 1927, Enzo Bearzot started his career as a football player in the ’40s playing with Pro Gorizia, Inter, Catania and Torino.

In the ’60s Bearzot started his career as a manager at first being the assistant for example of Italian legend Nereo Rocco then for some months as manager of Prato.

In 1969 Bearzot started working for Italian Federation as the manager of the under 23 team then as assistant manager of the national team. In 1975 he was appointed as manager of Italian national team.

In 1978 Bearzot led Italy to the fourth place in the football World Cup but there’s an everlasting connection between his name and the 1982 football World Cup played in Spain. Italy struggled in the first round with lousy performances raising big criticism from journalists. Bearzot answered inventing the press silence and, creating a strong team spirit among the players, he led the national team to defeat Argentina and Brazil in the second round, Poland in the semifinal and Germany in the final.

Italy didn’t qualify for 1984 European championship and in 1986 World Cup lost in the round of 16. After that defeat Enzo Bearzot resigned and practically retired even if later he was the manager of the national master, a team composed by football legends which not accidentally included various members of the 1982 world champion national team.

Today we lose a symbol of a different football, a manager always up to the challenge but without big vocal displays, a man who won what he won focusing on the moral strength of players united to achieve a purpose.

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