08 November 2021
Happy Birthday to Francesco Totti and Claudio Gentile!Two World Champions and key players at Germany 2006 and Spain 1982 respectively celebrate their birthdays today
Monday, September 27, 2021
Francesco Totti was born in Rome on 27 September 1976. His career has been intertwined with Roma since 1989, as he received his first call-up to the Senior Team in 1993 and went on to become an absolute icon of the club. Totti won one Scudetto, two Coppa Italia titles and two Italian Supercups with the Giallorossi. Most importantly, though, he is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and has played more games for the Giallorossi than anybody else in history; Totti scored 250 goals in Serie A and 306 in all competitions. He stepped onto the pitch for the last time on 28 May 2017, and his retirement was marked by a ceremony after the game involving the entire Stadio Olimpico in a memorable tribute to the man that captained the side for so long.
After European triumph with Cesare Maldini’s Under-21s in 1996, Totti made his debut for the Italy first team on 10 October 1998. The match was played in Udine against Switzerland, and Azzurri Coach Zoff brought Totti on in the last 20 minutes as he came on to replace Del Piero. Totti had to then wait until 26 April 2000 for his first Italy goal, as he scored the second in a 2-0 friendly win over Portugal in Reggio Calabria. He reached the final of the 2000 European Championships and participated in the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 Euros, but it was in 2006 that the major success came, as he was part of Italy’s World Cup glory in Germany. It was his goal from the penalty spot that allowed Italy to eliminate Australia in the Round of 16. He retired from international football after that victorious final in Berlin against France, leaving with a total of 58 appearances and 9 goals.
Claudio Gentile was born in Tripoli, Libya, on 27 September 1953. During his career, he donned the shirts of Varese, Juventus, Fiorentina and Piacenza, but it is for his spell with the Bianconeri that he is most fondly remembered. He won 6 Scudetti, one UEFA Cup, one Cup Winners' Cup and two Coppa Italia titles.
He played for the Azzurri from 1975 to 1984, featuring in one European Championship and two World Cups, becoming a world champion at Spain 1982. He made 71 Azzurri appearances, scoring one goal against Finland on 8 June 1977. He was also the Coach of the Italy Under-21 side from 2000 to 2006, winning the European Championship in 2004 and a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Athens.