31 March 2020
Happy birthday to Azzurri legends Bruno Conti and Giancarlo De SistiThe 1982 World Champion and Roma icon shares his birthday with the 1968 European Champion who also won a Scudetto with Fiorentina
Friday, March 13, 2020
On 13 March 1955 in Nettuno, a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Rome, Bruno Conti was born. He would go on to become one of the men at the heart of Enzo Bearzot’s Italy’s World Cup success in ’82. An undisputed legend of Roma from the ‘80s, he is remembered today as one as the most fearsome wingers in the history of Italian football.
Having risen up through the Giallorossi youth academy, his Serie A debut came in 1973 with Roma, shortly before he was sent out to gain experience on loan for two years at Genoa. Having been called back to the side by Nils Liedholm, he spent the entirety of his remaining career with Roma, where he scored 35 goals and won five Coppe Italia along with that historic Scudetto back in 1982/83. When his playing days came to an end in 1991, he immediately joined the Giallorossi coaching team, also taking on the role of caretaker manager for the First Team for a few months.
Considered the natural heir to Franco Causio’s Azzurri, he received his first call-up from Enzo Bearzot on 11 October 1980 for a World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg. It was during that following World Cup in Spain in ’82 that Bruno Conti really proved himself on an international level, being one of the players to inspire Italy to their third World Cup trophy in history. Called the best player at the tournament by Pelè, he also received the nickname “Marazico”, a combination of two renowned footballing greats at that World Cup: Maradona and Zico. His days with the Azzurri came to an end four years later at Mexico ’86, hanging up his boots with the National Team after 47 career caps and five goals.
Meanwhile, on this day in 1943 Giancarlo De Sisti was born in Rome, going on to become a midfielder with stunning technique and incredible vision on the pitch. He too rose up through the Giallorossi ranks, making his Serie A debut aged just 17. After winning a Fairs Cup and a Coppa Italia, De Sisti left Rome and headed to Florence to join Fiorentina. He added another Coppa Italia to his haul with the Viola, as well as a Mitropa Cup and most notably, a famous Scudetto, before returning to Roma to end his career. His National Team debut arrived on 1 November 1967, being called up by Ferruccio Valcareggi to start a European Qualifier against Cyprus. De Sisti only played one game at the finals of the tournament in 1968, but it came in the replay of the final and he was decisive in Italy’s victory over Yugoslavia, his side being crowned European Champions.
Following on from this, he played a much greater role at the next World Cup in 1970, playing every game in the tournament as Italy lost out to Brazil in the final, having beaten West Germany in a historic semi-final which was dubbed “The Game of the Century”. De Sisti’s Italian career came to an end on 13 May 1972, his final appearance coming in the European quarter-final defeat to Belgium as he hung up his boots with a total of 29 appearanes and four goals.