“Apart from the defenders. We are 82 forerunners of modern football”

Fulvio Collovati, 40 years have passed but that World Cup is always in the eyes of all those who have lived it. In fact, for our generation it is even more unforgettable than that of 2006. If I tell you World Cup, what is the first image that comes to mind?

“Saying the cup is too obvious. I could say so many images that we have seen hundreds of times in all these years, Pertini in the stands gesturing three with his fingers after the goal of Altobelli, Zoff who lifts the trophy and ends up on a stamp, the return to the field with Bearzot, the card game with the President on the plane and everyone watching, dinner at the Quirinal … But I have in my head something more mine, more private, the hug between me and Zoff at the final whistle. I was the closest defender to him at the time and it was natural to go and hug him: a hug I will never forget.

Everyone who was able to experience that World Cup remembers Italy-Brazil as the match of the century: those of us a few years older also remember another match of the century, Italy-Germany 4-3 in 1970. What is the difference?

“Well, it’s fundamental for me, because obviously I lived one on the pitch and the other in front of the television at the age of 12 … Azteca was a legendary match, but maybe it remained unique in that World Cup. “, he said. because then the epilogue was different. The Brazil of 1970 made us suffer a lot, while the Brazil of 82 made us suffer. Our party of the century, on the other hand, was part of a crescendo of incredible parties.

From Argentina to Germany, Brazil and Poland, you have beaten all the strongest teams in that World Cup, except France.

“Indeed. If the match with Brazil gave us the security of being able to win that World Cup, the match with Argentina was the turning point, the match of confidence. After that victory against the champions of the world, against Maradona, Ardiles, Passarella, we realized that we could also face Brazil, and so it was, so much so that when we faced Poland in the semi-finals everything seemed easy, but that was a great team, the Poland by Lato and Boniek, who finished third.

And then the final, Italy-Germany, which in retrospect even seems to go into the background, dragged by Italy-Brazil mythology …

“Yes, because in the imagination the big company is still there, because on the other side there was an incredible series of phenomena: Zico, Falcao, Socrates, Cerezo, Junior who had to play side to side to find place. A bit like we had to find a place as a winger for a great midfielder like Tardelli. I think that, apart from Pelé, Brazil was even superior to that of the seventies, in terms of the quality of the individual players.

But the end was anything but simple. In fact, everything went uphill, after the penalty missed by Cabrini.

“Yes, in the first half there was a great balance and the missed penalty was a blow from a psychological point of view. But there Bearzot came on the scene, reassuring Cabrini at the break and reloading the whole team, reminding us that the Germans were returning from a very tired semi-final with France. Rest assured that Germany will explode, he told us. And in fact in the second half they no longer kept up our pace. But even that was an extraordinary team: Breitrner, Stielike, Littbarski, Rummenigge, Briegel, Schumacher … “.

Germany that you practically faced with five defenses, because Bergomi, Cabrini, Gentile and Scirea played with it.

“Yes, and if we had lost who knows what our detractors would have said, because there were so many people we didn’t like,” Bearzot was accused of defending. And instead that team gave a lesson in modern football, of interchangeability of roles: Tardelli’s goal came after an exchange in the rival area between two defenders like Bergomi and Scirea, who came down to attack. Things that are rarely seen even now.

He said it is easy to think of the cup as the first image of the World Cup. And in fact that cup, created by Silvio Gazzaniga, is really special. And “Il Giornale” has promoted a petition to collect the signatures of the Azzurri and the fans for the Lombard artist

“Yes, because it’s different from everyone else. I also saw the last one created for the match between Italy and Argentina, but nothing original. Even the most prestigious are royal cups. This, on the other hand, looks like a work of art. More than a cup it is a sculpture. And I talk about it every day on the poster I have here in the office. I’m here too. “

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