Ricorrenze Azzurre

Best wishes to World Cup winners Franco Baresi and Andrea Barzagli!

The legendary Milan defender turns 59 today, the Juventus defender turns 38 and he’s made 73 Italy appearances

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Best wishes to World Cup winners Franco Baresi and Andrea Barzagli!

Franco Baresi was born in Travagliato, in the province of Brescia on 8 May 1960.

An iconic AC Milan captain under Arrigo Sacchi, Franco Baresi is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of Italian football.

He spent 20 seasons with the Rossoneri between 1977 and 1996 (15 as captain), winning the Scudetto six times, European Cup/Champions League titles, two Intercontinental Cups, three European Supercups and four Italian Supercups. Nicknamed Piscinin from a young age and then Kaiser Franz after Franz Beckenbauer, Franco Baresi made the second-most appearances for Milan. 

His first Italy call-up came at the age of just 20. After his impressive appearances, Bearzot called him up for the 1980 European Championship, the Mundialito and the 1982 World Cup where Italy won the title for the third time.

Considered the natural heir to Gaetano Scirea, he returned to the Italy set-up with the arrival of Azeglio Vicini as Coach who considered him a vital figure in the team that finished third at the 1990 World Cup. Named captain by the new Coach Sacchi in 1991, he returned by popular demand for the finals at the 1994 World Cup where Italy only went out in the final to Brazil on penalties.

On 7 September 1994, Baresi played for Italy for the last time at the age of 34 after making 81 appearances and scoring one goal.

In 2013, he was named a member of the Italian Football Hall of Fame.

Andrea Barzagli was born in Fiesole on 8 May 1981. He developed at Cattolica Virtus and Rondinella before arriving in Serie A at the age of 22, making his debut at Brescia for Chievo. A year later, he left Verona for Palermo where he remained for four seasons before moving to Wolfsburg. In his first year in Germany, he won the Bundesliga after making 34 appearances. He spent three years at Wolfsburg before returning to Italy to play for Juventus. With the Bianconeri, he has won seven Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia three times and Supercoppa Italiana four times.

His Italy career began with victory at the 2004 Under-21 European Championship. He was a starter in the 3-0 final win against Serbia-Montenegro in Bochum. A few weeks later, he won bronze at the Athens Olympics, playing 90 minutes in the third-place final against Iraq in Thessaloniki. His senior debut came on 17 November 2004 in Messina in a friendly against Finland which Marcello Lippi’s side won thanks to a Miccoli goal. Barzagli started alongside Materazzi at the back. He remained a part of Lippi’s squad up to the 2006 World Cup. He made two appearances as the Azzurri won the trophy. First, he came on for Toni in the second half in the round of 16 against Australia and he started the quarter-final against Ukraine. Under Donadoni, he played at Euro 2009, making one appearance before being ruled out by a meniscus injury. He was out of the Italy set-up until 2011 when he was called back up by Cesare Prandelli. he featured at Euro 2012 as the Azzurri finished runners-up. He also played at the 2013 Confederations Cu-, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and Euro 2016 under France under Antonio Conte. He has made 73 Italy appearances.