|Coppa Italia 2007|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Giancarlo Antognoni: the forgotten man of Italian football
Forgotten Player: Julinho
AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan,
Roma, Lazio, Torino, Napoli, Fiorentina,
Sampdoria, Geona, Bologna, Parma, Udinese
This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club. The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.
Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence; only four clubs have played in more Serie A seasons. Fiorentina has won two Italian Championships, in 1955–56 and again in 1968–69, as well as six Coppa Italia trophies and one Supercoppa Italiana. On the European stage, Fiorentina won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1960–61 and lost the final one year later. They finished runners-up in the 1956–57 European Cup, losing against Real Madrid, and also came close to winning the 1989–90 UEFA Cup, finishing as runners-up against Juventus.
|Serie A champion 1955-56|
GK: Francesco Toldo (Italy)
Toldo started with AC Milan, but never got his chance. He later starred for Fiorentina and Inter Milan. With Inter Milan, he was a a part of the team that won five Serie A titles. He was one of the best keepers in the world in his prime. He had stiff competition in the national team from Angelo Peruzzi and Gianluigi Buffon, but still managed to start during the Euro 2000. He was the hero of the semifinal game vs Holland and named to the team of the tournament.
GK: Enrico Albertosi (Italy)
Enrico Albertosi was one of the best keepers in his generations. He played with Fiorentina that won Cup Winners' Cup in 1961. Then, he moved to Calgary in 1968, where he played with Luigi Riva and won a scudetti with Caligari in 1970. He later transferred to A.C. Milan in 1974, where he won yet another Serie A title and Coppa Italia. For Azzurri, he was a part of Italy's European Championship team in 1968. He went to the both 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals.
GK: Giuliano Sarti (Italy)
Giuliano Sarti had done well in European football. In 1960-61, he helped Fiorentina to win the Cup Winners' Cup. In 1963, he joined Inter Milan and became the starting keeper of La Grande Inter under Helenio Herrera. He won back-to-back European Cup with them in 1964 and 1965. He only had 8 caps with the Italian national team.
RB/CB: Ardico Magnini (Italy)
Ardico Magnini startd his career with Pistoiese. He was a great defender for Fiorentina during the 1950's. Later, he played for Genoa. He won the scudetto in 1956. He was a main player for Italy as well. He was capped 20 times between 1953 and 1957, a recovery period after the Superga Disaster. He went to the 1954 World Cup Finals.
RB: Enzo Robotti (Italy)
Robotti started his career with Sanremese. He played with Juventus before joining Fiorentina in 1957, where he stayed until 1965. He was a part of Fiorentina's defensive unit that included Sergio Castellett, Giuliano Sarti, etc. in the 1950's. He later played for Brescia and Roma. He played 15 times for Italy. He was a member of Italy's 1962 World Cup team.
CB: Daniel Passarella (Argentina)
Daniel Passarella was one of the best center-backs ever played the game. He captained Argentina when it won the World Cup in 1978. He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1982, but he was forced into have a non-playing role in 1986 after a row with Diego Maradona. He was also known for scoring over 140 goals in his career, very high for a defender. His career was associated with River Plate. He also played for Fiorentina and Inter Milan in Italy.
During his club career, Ferrante played for Pro Vercelli, Fiorentina (1963–72), and Vicenza (1972–76). He had a successful career with Fiorentina, winning the Torneo di Viareggio, the Mitropa Cup, and the Coppa Italia in 1966, as well as the 1968–69 Serie A title; he also reached two more Mitropa Cup finals in 1965 and 1972, as well as a Coppa della Alpi Final in 1970 during his time with the club. He was capped 3 times.
CB: Giuseppe Britz (Italy)
Britz started and ended his career with Maceratese. In between, he played fro Fiorentina between 1962 and 1976, where he became an icon in the 1960's. He helped Fiorentina to win the 1968-1969 Serie A title. However, he did not have any opportunity with the national team. He only won a Gold Medal at 1963 Mediterranean Games for Italy.
CB: Francesso Rosetta (Italy)
Francesso Rosetta started his career with Novara and played for Torino, Alsessandria and Verona, but he better known for his career with Fiorentina, where he played from 1948 to 1957. He formed a great defensive unit with Ardico Magnini and and Sergio Cervato in the 1950's with there. He was considered to be a pioneer for the libero position. He had 7 caps with the Azzurri.
LB: Sergio Cervato (Italy)
Cervato started with F.C. Bolzano, but known for his career with Fiorentina. He won the scudetti with Fiorentina in 1955-56 as their captain where they only lost one match. The club finished as runners-up for the next four consecutive years in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960. They reached the 1957 European Cup Final the following season. He joined Juventus and spent two seasons there, winning two more scudetti. He played 28 times for Italy. He participated at the 1954 World Cup Finals.
LB: Manuel Pasqual (Italy)
Manuel Pasqual started with Arezzo in Serie C, helping them to reach Serie B. He joined Foirentina in 2005 and played with them until 2016. He served as their captain. He is the club's appearance record holder. At the time of writing, he plays for Empoli. Since 2006, he was capped 14 times for Italy. He was named in Italy's 30-man provisional squad for 2014 World Cup Finals, but he did not make the final team.
The War prevented Giuseppe Chiapella from starting his professional career. He started with Pisa in 1946 at the age 22, but spent majority of his career with Fiorentina. He played over 300 matches for them between 1949 and 1950. In 1955-1956 season, he won the Scudetto, the first ever for Forentina. The following year, he was a part of the team that lost the European Cup to Real Madrid. From 1953 to 1957, he played 17 times for Italy.
RM/CM: Angelo Di Livio (Italy)
Angelo Di Livio began his career with Roma in 1984. He later played for Reggiana, Nocerina, Perugia, Padova, Juventus and Fiorentina. With Juventus, he won three scudetti (Italian A League; 1995, 1997, 1998) and one Champions League title (1996). He played for Italy at Euro 96, the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000 (where Italy finished in 2nd place), and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
CM/DM: Giancarlo Di Sisti (Italy)
Di Sisti was known for his two stints with Roma and 9 seasons with Fiorentina in between. He helped Fiorentina winning the 1968-69 scudetto. At international level, De Sisti earned 29 caps and scored 4 goals for the Italy national football team between 1967 and 1972, making his debut on 1 November 1967, in a 5–0 home win over Cyprus in a UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying match. He later played in the European championship-winning team at Euro 1968 on home soil.
|Giancarlo di Sisti|
Guido Gratton played for Fiorentina between 1953 and 1960. During his time at the club, the team won the Serie A championship during the 1955–56 season, followed by 4 consecutive 2nd-place finishes; Fiorentina also reached the 1957 European Cup Final but lost to Real Madrid. He also payed for Parma, Vicenza, Como, etc. He was capped 11 times. He was a member of the 1954 World Cup team.
AM: Miguel Montuori (Argentina/Italy)
Widely regarded as one of Fiorentina's greatest players. He started his career in Chile with Universidad Catolica before moving to Italy in 1956. He helped Fiorentina to win the league in 1956. He eared 12 caps for Italy. Despite his talent and success, he was also regarded as an "unfortunate" player, due to his many runner-up medals, and his injuries, which forced him to retire during the prime of his career.
AM: Roberto Baggio (Italy)
Roberto 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 Italia 1990 and then, to a second place four years later. 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.
Kurt Hamrin is considered one of the greatest wingers in the history of the game. He played in Italy from 1956 to 1971. His best years were spent at Fiorentina, where he was considered to be one of their greatest players. He also won an European Cup with AC Milan in 1968. Hamrin played 32 times for Sweden between 1953 and 1965. He was a star player as Sweden reached the Final of the WC Finals in 1958.
RW: Julinho (Brazil)
During his career (1951–1967), Julinho played for Portuguesa, Fluminense and Palmeiras. His greatest spell was with Fiorentina. He was nominated as the best player in the history of Fiorentina in 1996. He was one of the greatest wingers in Serie A history. He had 24 caps for Brazil. He was one of the best player at the World Cup Finals in 1954. He turned down a chance to play in the 1958 World Cup Finals in Sweden, giving the way for Garrincha to shine.
Segato played on the left wing of Fiorentina's great team of the 1950's with Julinho on the other flank. He won one Serie A championship during the 1955–56 season, and also reached the 1957 European Cup Final, only to lose to Real Madrid. Later, he played with Udinese, where he closed his career in Serie B in 1964.He earned 20 caps for Italy. He went to the 1954 World Cup Finals.
AM: Giancarlo Antognoni (Italy)
Giancarlo Antognoni was Fiorentina's greatest ever player. He was a key player for Italy's World Cup winning team in 1982, but he missed the Final because of an injury. He was capped 73 times for the Azzurri between 1974 and 1983. In 1972, he joined Fiorentina, where he played until 1987. Because of his loyalty with his club, he never won anything at the club level. He holds the record for the most appearances in Serie A for Fiorentina, with 341 appearances.
Rui Costa was one of the best players in the 1990's Portugal's Golden Generation. He was a part of the team that won the 1991 U-20 World Cup. He starred for Benfica, Florentina and AC Milan. He won a Champions' League title with AC Milan in the 2003-2004 season. He earned 94 caps fpr Portugal. He represented the country in three UEFA European Championships and one FIFA World Cup. He led Portugal to the Euro 2004 Final at home.
ST: Giuseppe Virgili (Italy)
Born in Udine, Virgili played for Udinese, Fiorentina, Torino, Bari, Livorno and Taranto at club level. With Fiorentina, he was a part of their famous generation in the late 1950's. Virgili also scored two goals in 7 appearances for the national team between 1955 and 1957. He was inducted into the Fiorentina Hall of Fame in 2013.
ST: Luca Toni (Italy)
Toni played for many clubs before Toni got his breakthrough with Palermo. He helped the team to gain Serie A promotion in 2004. He was the league's top scorer with 30 goals in his first Serie A season. After two prolific seasons with Fiorentina, Toni also spent three seasons with Bayern Munich, where he helped the club to a domestic treble in 2008. For Italy, he earned his first cap in 2004 at the age of 27. He went on to played 47 times for Italy and was a part of 2006 World Cup winning team.
ST: Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina)
Gabriel Batistuta is the current top-scorer for Argentina. He first gained international recognition when Argentina won the Copa America in 1991 where he finished as the top scorer. He earned a move to Fiorentina spending the next 9 seasons there while becoming their all-time leading scorer. In 2000, he moved to Roma and won the scudetto in his first season. He played 77 times for Argentina. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
Edmundo, Daniel Bertoni, Ramon Diaz, Gunnnar Gren, Claudio Merlo, Tomas Ujfalusi, Angelo Di Livio, Alberto Gilardino, Riccardo Montolivo, Ugo Ferrante, Mario Maraschi, Franco Superchi, Luciano Chiarugi.
-- Three players are probably automatic selections for the club. They are Giancarlo Antognoni, Julinho and Gabriel Batistuta.
-- Giancarlo Antognoni was Fiorentina's greatest ever player. Despite winning the 1982 World Cup Finals, he is not a household name. He was overshadowed by Paul Rossi and Dino Zoff. He was also fiercely loyal to Fiorentina. He would have more club successes if he played for another club.
-- Julinho was voted as Fiorentina's greatest foreign player, but he is getting to become a forgotten player by the younger generation. I wrote a blog post about him.
-- Gabriel Batistuta's loyalty is also unquestionable. He went down to Serie B with the club in the 1993-1994 season. The fans even erected a statue of him in Florence at one point.
-- Fiorentina had a great team in the 1950's. They won won the 1955-1956 Serie A title. I selected the following players from that team: Julinho, Giuseppe Chiappella, Armando Segato, Giuseppe Virgili, Ardico Magnini, Miguel Montuorl, Guido Gratton, Sergio Cervato, Giuliano Sarti, Ardico Magnini and Enzo Robotti and Francesco Rosetta.
-- Enrico Albertosi, Enzo Robotti, Giancarlo De Sisti and Kurt Hamrin was not from the 1955-1956 Serie A winning team, but they were playing in that generation. The club also reached the Final of the 1957 European Cup Final. They finished second in the league for the next four consecutive years in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960. In 1961, they won the Cups' Winners Cup, becoming the first Italian club to win a trophy in Europe.
-- They also won the Serie A title in the 1968-1969 season. That team is under represented here. Only Ugo Ferrante, Giuseppe Brizi and Giancarlo De Sisti made my all-time team. Mario Maraschi, Franco Superchi and Luciano Chiarugi are on my honourable mention. Amarildo is the most famous player on that team due to the fact he won a World Cup with Brazil in 1962, but I am unfamiliar with his time with Fiorentina. He only made Honorable Mention.
-- Francesco Toldo was sensational during his times in Florence. Giuliano Sarti and Enrico Albertosi are famous goalkeepers in the history of Italian football, but their career were defined elsewhere. I do not know much about their career here, but they are often listed among Fiorentina's greatest ever.
-- I selected the two older rightbacks over Moreno Torricelli (Italy), who was among my favourite players.
-- Sergio Castelletti was probably better than Manuel Pasqual, but Pasqual is now the appearance record holder of the club. I cannot deny the record holder from this all-time team.
-- Dunga played 4 seasons here, but his position is well-covered by Giuseppe Chiapella, Angelo di Livio, Giancarlo De Sisti and Guido Gratton. Those players have careers more associated with the club than Dunga.
-- Angelo di Livio was an all round player who could play in many positions. He was a useful player to have on the team. He went down with the club to in Serie C2 and he fought it back to Serie A with them. Because of his loyalty, he deserved a spot.
-- Socrates failed to adjust football in Italy. He only played one season here.
-- Daniel Passarella, I admitted, got onto the team by his reputation gained from elsewhere. I am not very familiar with his career with Fiorentina.
-- Roberto Baggio's stay was very short. I selected him because he was simply Baggio. He was not a home grown player. On Baggio's first return to Florence as a Juventus player, Baggio refused to take a penalty. Later, he picked up a Fiorentina scarf that was thrown onto the field in a friendly towards Fiorentina.
-- Luca Toni, a player I liked very much, only spent two seasons with Forientina. I am not sure if he deserved to be on this team, but I gave him a spot.