Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bologna Greatest All-time Team

Serie A League Winner: 1963-1964
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

AC MilanJuventusInter Milan,

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for Bologna.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Bologna were a founding member of Serie A in 1929. During its history, the club has won the Italian league championship seven times, making them the sixth most successful team in the history of the league.

Since 1927 the team has been competing in its internal competitions in the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, born as Stadio del Littoriale and called, from the postwar period until 1983, Stadio Comunale. The stadium can host more than 38,000 spectators. The club are nicknamed the Rossoblu due to the red-and-blue striped shirts which they wear, which are also the official colours of the city.
1928-1929 Scudetto Winner

GK: Mario Gianni (Italy)
Mario Gianni started with Pisa, but he went to Bologna in 1924, where he played 342 league games, winning three league championships, finishing in tenth place among the Rossoblu of all time for the number of appearances.  Capped for Italy in an era with fierce competition from Gianpiero Combi, Giovanni De Pra , Carlo Ceresoli and Giuseppe Cavanna .

GK: Carlo Ceresoli  (Italy)
Ceresoli was considered one of the strongest goalkeepers of the 1930s along with Giampiero Combi, Ricardo Zamora and František Plánička. With the Italian national team he played the only qualifying match of the 1934 FIFA World Cup against Greece and the famous Battle of Highbury in which he saved a penalty from Eric Brook. He was 1938 World Champion with the Italian national team and went on to win 8 caps for Italy.

GK: Gianluca Pagliuca (Italy)
Gianluca Pagliuca made his name with Sampdoria, winning the league in 1990-1991 and reaching the European Cup's final in 1992.  In 1994, Inter Milan broke the world transfer record for a keeper to sign him.  While at Inter, he reached UEFA Cup Final twice, winning it in 1997-1998.  For the national team, he had 39 caps between 1990 and 1998.  He was the starting keeper at both World Finals in 1994 and 1998.  
Gianluca Pagliuca 
RB: Eraldo Monzeglio (Italy)
Eraldo Monzeglio played for Casale, Bologna, and Roma, winning the Serie A title and two editions of the Mitropa Cup with Bologna. At international level, he was one of only three Italian players to have won two consecutive World Cup titles in 1934 and 1938, being named to the tournament's All-star Team in 1934. He also won two editions of the Central European International Cup with Italy. 

CB: Gastone Baldi (Italy)
Born in 1901, Gastone Baldi played for 4 seasons (82 games, 3 goals) in the Serie A for his hometown team Bologna F.C. 1909. He made his debut for the Italy national football team on 3 December 1922 in a game against Switzerland.  He played 3 times in total for them.  He also represented Italy at the 1924 Summer Olympics.

CB/DM: Ivan Jensen (Denmark)
Jensen won three Danish championships with AB in 1943, 1945, and 1947,  and made his debut for the Denmark national football team in September 1945.  He went on to play 25 games and score two goals for the national team, including four games as Denmark won a bronze medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. After London, he joined Bologna in Italy, in which ended his international career.  He spent 8 seasons with them.

CB: Paride Tumburus (Italy) 
Born in Aquileia, Tumburus played club football for Bologna F.C. 1909 and Vicenza Calcio, before retiring after a season with Rovereto in 1971. At international level, Tumburus earned four caps for the Italy national football team between 1962 and 1963, and participated in the 1962 World Cup as well as the 1960 Olympic Games on home soil, in which is country managed a fourth-place finish.

CB: Mauro Bellugi (Italy)
Mauro Bellugi started his career with Inter Milan, making his debut for them on 31 August 1969 in a Coppa Italia match. In five seasons with Inter he played 90 Serie A matches, and 137 times in all senior competitions.  Bellugi later also played for Bologna F.C. (1974–79), S.S.C. Napoli (1979–80) and A.C. Pistoiese (1980–81). Capped 31 times from 1972 to 1979.  He played five games in the 1978 World Cup.  He also went to the one in 1974.
Mauro Bellugi
SW: Francesco Janich (Italy)
Francesco Janich was born in 1937. During his career, he played for Atalanta (1956–58), Lazio (1958–61), and Bologna (1961–72). He earned 6 caps for the Italy national football team, and played in both the 1962 and 1966 World Cups.  Francesco Janich to this day holds the Serie A record for playing the highest number of games, 426, without scoring a goal and without a single red card.

LB: Felice Gasperi (Italy)
Born in 1903, Felice Gasperi won the Olympic bronze medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics in football team competition for Italy, but because of a disputed game in some accounts of that history, his name is not listed among the medal winners. He played 6 times for Italy, largely because Italy preferred an all Juventus defensive unit. With Bologna, he was known for his career playing with Mario Gianni ed Eraldo Monzeglio.

LB: Dino Ballacci (Italy)
Dino Ballacci was born in Bologna, where he played most of his career. During his football career Dino Ballacci became one of the most representative players of Bologna F.C. in the Fifties. He played more than 300 matches in rossoblù.  He played for Lecco and Portogruaro at the end of his career.  In 1954, he played with Italy national team in the World Cup qualification match won 5–1 against Egypt. It was his only cap.

DM: Michele Andreolo (Uruguay/Italy)
Andreolo played for Nacional in Uruguay before joining Serie A team Bologna F.C. 1909 ahead of the 1935–36 season and helping them win the league title (Scudetto) that year. He would remain in Bologna until 1943, winning the Scudetto three more times, in 1936–37, 1938–39 and 1940–41. Later in his career he played for Italian sides Lazio, Napoli, Catania and Forlì. He was capped by Uruguay, but won the World Cup with Italy in 1938.

DM: Giacomo Bulgarelli (Italy)
Giacomo Bulgarelli was a member of the 1962 and 1966 World Cup team.   In 1962, he became the youngest Italian goal scorer at the WC Finals.  In 1966, he was the captain of the national team. He also won the European Championship in 1968 at home.  He spent his career mainly with Bologna. He was a part of the squad that won the Serie AS title in 1963-1964 season.  He played in the USA for a single season in 1975.

CM: Romano Fogli (Italy)
Fogli was born in Santa Maria a Monte, near Pisa. During his club career he played for Torino F.C., Bologna F.C. 1909, A.C. Milan, and Calcio Catania. His ,longest stint was with Bologna, where he won the scudetto in 1964. He earned 13 caps for the Italy national football team from 1958 to 1967, and participated in the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

CM: Helmut Haller (West Germany)
Helmut Haller was one of the best midfielders in the world in the 1960's.  In 1966, he helped West Germany to reach the Final of the 1966 World Cup, forming one of the best midfield of the tournament with Wolfgang Overath and Franz Beckenbauer.  He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1962 and in 1970.  At the club level, he started with Augsburg.  He was also known for his stints in Italy, playing for Bologna and Juventus.  He won the 1963–64 scudetto with Bologna. 
Helmut Haller
AM: Mario Montesanto (Italy)
Mario Montesanto started with Venezia, but in 1930 he went to Bologna, where he remained for 12 seasons, amassing some 280 appearances and 10 goals. He formed a midfield with Francisco Fedullo, Amedeo Biavati, Raffaele Sansone, Michael Andreolo and others.  He was capped 6 times for Italy B team, and another 3 times for the A team. 

AM: Roberto Baggio (Italy)
Robert Baggio was the icon of the 1990's.  He was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy and then, to a second place four years later in the USA.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.
Roberto Baggio
AM/FW: Amedeo Biavati (Italy)
Amedeo Biavati is regarded as one of the greatest Italian players and wingers of all time, and is largely remembered for popularising the use of notable skills and feints in Italian football, in particular the step over. Amedeo Biavati was capped 18 times with eight goals for the Italy national football team between 1938 and 1947, and he helped the team to win the 1938 FIFA World Cup in France

AM: Carlo Reguzzoni (Italy)
Carlo Reguzzoni was an attacking midfielder playing mainly for Bologna in the 1930s and 1940s, scoring 143 goals in 377 games for the club, making him Bologna's second highest goalscorer of all-time, behind only Angelo Schiavio. He also played for Pro Patria, a club in Lombardy. In total, he scored 155 goals in 401 appearances in Serie A. He was capped once for Italy in a game against Romania in 1940.

FW: Angelo Schiavio (Italy)
Angelo Schiavio was one of of Bologna's most important player.  He spent his entire career with them between 1922 and 1939. He won four league titles with the club. For Italy, he earned 21 caps. He won the 1934 FIFA World Cup with Italy, finishing as the tournament's second highest goalscorer(in 2006, he was awarded another goal making him the top scorer); he also won a bronze medal with Italy at the 1928 Summer Olympics. In 2012, he was inducted into the Italian Football Hall of Fame.
Angelo Schiavio
FW/RW/LW: Gino Cappello (Italy)
Cappello began his career with Padova. He joined Milan in 1940. After the war, he went to Bologna where he played for ten straight seasons. He scored 80 goals in 245 games. In his last two seasons he played for Novara in Serie B. He was one of four players to play both games at the 1950 World Cup. Four years later he was also called up to the national team for the 1954 World Cup, where he wore the number 10 shirt, becoming the first Italian player to wear the iconic jersey in a World Cup.

ST:  Héctor Puricelli (Uruguay/Italy)
After playing for Central Español from Montevideo, Puricelli moved from Uruguay to Italy in 1938 to play for Serie A side Bologna.  In his first season they won the Italian championship of 1938–39. He was also joint-capcannonieri (top scorer) in Serie A. He repeated this feat in 1940–41 with 22 goals, also winning his second league title with Bologna that season.  Capped once by Italy.

ST: Ezio Pascutti (Italy)
Ezio Pascutti spent his entire club career with Italian side Bologna, playing 296 Serie A matches and scoring 130 goals for the club from 1955 to 1969. He won the scudetto in the 1963-1964 season. He also held the record for most consecutive games scored in at the start of a Serie A season, before it was broken 30 years later by Gabriel Batistuta during the 1995–96 Serie A season.  At the international level, he had 17 caps.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1962 and 1966.
Ezio Pascutti 
ST/LW: Giuseppe Signori (Italy)
Signori won the Serie A top-scorer award three times. His best stint was with Lazio where he was Serie A top-scorer three times: 1993, 1994 and 1996.  In 1998, he was sold to Sampdoria. At Bologna, he helped the club to qualify for the 1998–99 UEFA Cup by winning the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup that season. Bologna went on to reach the semi-final of the UEFA Cup that season. Capped 28 times.  He was one of Italy's star players at USA 1994.  He assisted Roberto Baggio's winning goal against Spain.

ST: Harald Nielsen (Denmark)
Harald Nielsen is best remembered for his years at Bologna during the 1960's.  He was the Serie A top-scorer in 1961 where Bologna won the league title.  He won a silver medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics and finished as the top scorer of the Games.  However, Denmark banned professionals from playing for its national team.  He made his national team debut at the age of 17, the youngest ever.  He played his last match for Denmark as a 19 years old.
Harald Nielsen 

Honorable Mention
William Negri (Italy), Giuseppe Vavassori (Italy), Carlo Furlanis (Italy), Tazio Roversi (Italy), Gino Pivatelli (Italy), Eraldo Pecci (Italy), Giuseppe Savoldi (Italy), Axel Pilmark (Denmark), Kenneth Anderson (Sweden), Alessandro Diamanti (Italy).

Squad Explanation 
-- Bologna has been strong before the 1970's.  They won 7 Serie A titles, all before the 1970's.  Six of the seven came before the Second World War.  In the 1990's, they even went all the way down to Serie C.  So most of this all-time team came from the eras before 1970's.  Nevertheless, I selected four players who played after the 1970's. Gianluca Pagliuca, Giuseppe Signori and Roberto Baggio all played after the 1990's.  Mauro Bellugi played for Bologna from 1974 to 1979.
-- Gianluca Pagliuca was born in Bologna. He is probably their best homegrown talent in the modern era.  He made a name with Sampdoria and Inter Milan before returning to Bologna to play for them between 1999 and 2006.
-- Giuseppe Signori helped the club to reach the semifinal of the UEFA Cup in 1999, which was a big achievement for the club after the 1970's. Bologna earned the ticker to that year's UEFA Cup by winning the Intertoto Cup in the summer of 1998.  Otherwise, Bologna has not done well in Europe, except winning the Mitropa Cup in 1932, 1934 and 1961.  
-- Roberto Baggio only played one season with Bologne, but he scored 22 goals, her personal best.  He received nominations for both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year due to his performances for Bologna and Italy that season. He was also nominated for the 1998 Serie A Italian Footballer of the Year and Serie A Footballer of the Year awards.  He also earned himself on the 1998 World Cup Finals, which was rare to see a player from Bologna.
-- Alessandro Diamanti earned his first callup while playing for Brescia.  He played in 2012 European Championship as a Bologna player.  He scored the winning penalty to give Italy a 4–2 penalty shoot-out win over England in the quater-final.  He made honorable mention.
-- Angelo Schiavio is probably Bologne's greatest ever footballer.  He won four league titles with the club, and is the team's all-time highest goalscorer.  He played with Michele Andreolo for both club and country.  Andreolo also won the 1930 World Cup with Uruguay.  I also selected one more players from 1934 World Cup team, Eraldo Monzeglio.  He was also on the 1938 World Cup team.
-- Carlo Ceresoli played for Italy in the 1934 World Cup Qualifying match, but he did not play in the Finals.  However, in November, 1934, he played in the famous Battle of Highbury where the World Cup winner Italy played against England, a team considered to be the strongest in the world at the time.  He saved a penalty from Eric Brook in the match.  He was on the 1938 World Cup winning team.  I also selected Amedeo Biavati who also was on that 1938 team.
-- Goalkeeper Mario Gianni played in the same era as Carlo Ceresoli.  They both battled for a spot on the Italian team.
-- The 1963-1964 team that won the scudetto was very strong on paper. Harald Nielsen was among the greatest Dane ever played the game.  He was the Serie A top-scorer in 1961 that season. Helmut Haller was an all-timer with West Germany.  He was probably one of the best midfielders in the 1960's. I addition, my all-time team have Ezio Pascutti, Romano Fogli, Giacomo Bulgarelli, Francesco Janich and Paride Tumburus from that scudetto winning team.  
-- Giacomo Bulgarelli played for them between 1959 and 1975.  He appeared more times for Bologna than any other players in history.



  1. My top 11
    Janich Bellugi Paramatti
    Bulgarelli Nervo
    Marocchi Haller

    Pascutti Signori Nielsen

  2. Giuseppe-Vavassori
    Roversi Janich Jensen Mirko-Pavinato
    Bulgarelli Andreolo
    Raffaelle-Sansone Francisco-Fedullo Haller

    Sansone and Fedullo were the key imports to the Mitropa successes. Vavasori was the keeper of the Anglo-Italian Cup win. Pavinato was also highly rated. He captained the team to their last Scudetto.