Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Torino Greatest All-Time Team

Grand Torino

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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.

Founded as Foot-Ball Club Torino in 1906, Torino are among the most successful clubs in Italy with seven league titles, including five consecutive league titles (a record tied with Juventus and Internazionale) at the time of the Grande Torino, widely recognised as one of the strongest teams of the 1940s. That entire team was killed in the 1949 Superga air disaster. They have also won the Coppa Italia five times, the last of which was in the 1992–93 season. Internationally, Torino won the Mitropa Cup in 1991 and were finalists in the UEFA Cup in 1991–92..

Team
GK: Valerio Bacigalupo (Italy)
Valerio Bacigalupo was a member of Grande Torino who died in the Superga air disaster in 1949.  He played with Savona and Geona before joining Torino in 1945. With Torino, he won 4 Serie A titles in a row.  Between 1947 and 1949, he played 5 times for Italy. He would have played in the 1950 World Cup Finals. After his death, the club where he started his career, Savona named its ground Stadio Valerio Bacigalupo in his honour.

GK: Luciano Castellini
Luciano Castellini earned a single cap for Italy in 1977.  He went to 1974 World Cup Finals as a backup keeper behind Dino Zoff and Enrico Albertosi.  For his club career, he started with Monza.  He played for Torino from 1970 to 1978.  He was a club hero with Torino, winning the Serie A title in 1976. From 1978 to 1985, he played for Napoli. He went 531 minutes unbeaten while at Napoli, which was a record. 
Luciano Castellini
GK: Aldo Olivieri (Italy)
Aldo Olivieri  was Nicknamed Ercolino Semprimpiedi ("Always-Standing Little Hercules"), a famous definition of Italian journalist Gianni Brera, he was a top keeper in the 1930's.  He played for Hellas Verona, Lucchese, and Brescia in Serie B, and Torino in Serie A. Capped 24 times, he won the World Cup in 1938.  

RB: Fabrizio Poletti (Italy)
Fabrizio Poletti is remembered for his career with Torino, where he played for nine seasons, and won the Coppa Italia twice. He had 9 caps. He also represented the Italian national team, and was a member of the squad that reached the final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He also played in the famous semi-final against West Germany.

CB: Pasquale Bruno  (Italy)
Bruno played for several Italian clubs throughout his career, in particular Juventus, where he won a Coppa Italia-UEFA Cup double in 1990, and subsequently for the club's inter-city rivals Torino, where he won another Coppa Italia in 1993. He also had stints with Lecce, Como and Fiorentina. At the end of his career, he played in Scotland and England.
Bruno
CB: Roberto Rosato (Italy)
Rosato played for 15 seasons in the Serie A for Torino, AC Milan, Genoa and Aosta. With Milan, he won 1 Serie A title, 3 Coppa Italia titles, 1969 European Cup, 2 European Super Cups, and 1 Intercontinental Cup.  He played 37 times for Italy.  Against West Germany in 1966, he earned the nickname "Hammer of Hamburg". He went to both 1966 and 1970 World Cup, and was a member of the Euro 1968 winning team.

CB: Mario Rigamonti (Italy)
With Torino, Mario Rigamonti made his Serie A debut in a 2–1 away loss to cross-city rivals Juventus on 14 October 1945; in total, he played 140 times for Torino and won four consecutive Serie A scudetti titles with the club.  A member of Grande Torino who died in the Superga air disaster.  He was capped 3 times between 1947 and 1949.

CB: Roberto Cravero (Italy)
Throughout his career, Roberto Cravero became Torino's captain, and he helped the Turin side to win the 1989–90 Serie B title, gaining promotion to Serie A the following season, as well as the 1991 Mitropa Cup. He also helped his team to a Coppa Italia final in 1982, and to reach the 1992 UEFA Cup final. He retired with Torino in Serie B, in 1998.

LB/LM: Junior (Brazil)
Junior was one of the greatest leftback in Brazil's history.  He was also a part of the great Flamengo team of the 1980's winning the 1981 Copa Libertadores and 1981 Intercontinental Cup. With 857 matches, he is the player with most appearances for Flamengo. In 1984, he joined Torino in Italy.  He played 70 times for Brazil.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.  He was a key member of the legendary WC team in 1982.
Junior
LB: Virgílio Maroso (Italy)
Virgílio Maroso was a member of Torino's famous, Grande Torino.  He played 103 times and won four consecutive Serie A scudetti for them. He died with most of the team in the Superga air disaster near Turin, in May 1949. He was capped seven times for the Italian national team between 1945 and 1949, scoring one goal.

DM: Giorgio Puia (Italy)
During his club career he played for A.S. Pro Gorizia, U.S. Triestina Calcio, Vicenza and Torino.  He played fro Torino between 1963 and 1972. He earned 7 caps for the Italy national football team between 1962 and 1970, and was included in the Italian squad for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, but he did not play in the Finals.

DM: Giorgio Ferrini (Italy)
Giorgio Ferrini played for Torino from 1959 to 1975, for which he captained, and is the most capped player in the history of the Granata with 566 appearances in all competitions, ahead of Paolo Pulici (437). At club level, he won the Coppa Italia in 1967–68 and 1970–71. He also represented the Italian national team, winning the 1968 European Championship.
Giorgio Ferrini
CM: Renato Zaccarelli (Italy)
After Giorgio Ferrini and Paolo Pulici, Zaccarelli is the third player with the most appearances for Torino in Serie A.  A product of Torino's academy, but started with Verona.  In 1974, he returned to his mother club. He won the Scudetto with Torino in the 1975–76 season.   He participated at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, where Italy finished fourth. He was played from bench as second to Giancarlo Antognoni, eventually making five appearances scoring one goal; that of a 2–1 comeback victory against France.

RW/FW/AM: Claudio Sala (Italy)
Claudio Sala made his debut for Monza, later moving to Napoli, Torino and Genoa. In total he played 323 matches and scored 27 goals in the Serie A. With Torino, he won the 1975–76 Serie A, and the 1970–71 Coppa Italia.  He won Guerin d'Oro award twice (1976 and 1977).  Sala played 18 times for Italy.  He was a member of the 1978 World Cup team.

CM: Giuseppe Grezar (Italy)
With Torino, Grezar played 154 times and won five consecutive Serie A scudetti, until dying with most of the team in the Superga air disaster near Turin, in May 1949. He was capped eight times for the Italian national team, scoring one goal. He also played with Ampelea Isola in 1944.

CM: Ezio Loik (Italy)
Ezio Loik played with Valentino Mazzola at Venezia before joining Torino in 1942.  With the Grande Torino side, Loik won five consecutive Serie A scudetti and one further Coppa Italia (1942–43), until he died with most of the team in the Superga air disaster near Turin, in May 1949, which also made up much of the Italian national team at the time.  He had 9 caps for Italy.

LW: Gianluigi Lentini (Italy)
Gianluigi Lentini started with Torino.  He was once the world's most expensive footballer, when he moved from Torino to AC Milan for £13 million in 1992.  He was a key part of their side during the 1992–93 season under manager Fabio Capello.  In 1993, he had a serious car accident in which he never regained his former form after recovery.  He was capped 13 times.
Gianluigi Lentini 
AM.CM: Enzo Scifo (Belgium)
Born in Belgium of Italian background,  Enzo Scifo made his name with Anderlecht.  He also played in both France and Italy.  He had over 80 caps.  He appeared for Belgium in the World Cups of 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998, playing sixteen games.  He was a star at the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990, where he scored one of the best goals of the tournament in 1990.  He helped his team to reach the semifinal in 1986.

AM: Valentino Mazzola (Italy)
Valentino Mazzola was the best player in the world during the 1940's.  He was the captain and symbol of the "Grande Torino", the team recognised as one of the strongest in the world during the second half of the 1940s, with whom Mazzola won five Serie A championships.  His career, however, was limited by the War.  He never played in the World Cup.  His life was cut short by the Superga Air Disaster in 1949.  He was Sandro's father.
Valentine Mazzola with his son Sandro

FW: Pietro Ferraris (Italy)
Throughout his career, he won 6 Serie A titles with Ambrosiana-Inter and Torino.  He was a member of Grande Torino, but let the club before the Suoerga Air Disaster. He was a member of  the 1938 World Cup team that won the World Cup with the Italy national football team, where he scored Italy's fastest ever World Cup goal. He was also known as "Ferraris II", to distinguish him from Mario Ferraris I.

FW: Franco Ossola (Italy)
He joined Torino in 1939 and debuted in Serie A on 4 February 1940. Early in his career at Torino he suffered from the presence of Pietro Ferraris, who occupied the left wing. He eventually became a starter with the number 11 jersey, and played 181 games and scored 85 goals in Serie A, the 1944 Campionato Alta Italia and the National Division. He died in the Superga Air Disaster.  

ST: Francesco Graziani (Italy)
Francesco Graziani earned 64 caps between 1975 and 1983. He was a key player for Italy at both 1978 and 1982 World Cup Finals.  He played every game in 1982 as Italy won their first World Cup since 1938. He started his club career with Arezzo. He was an all-timer at Torino, winning the league in 1976.  He was the top scorer in Serie A for 1976-1977 season.  He also played for Fiorentina, Roma and Udinese.
Francesco Graziani

ST: Paolo Pulici (Italy)
Paolo Pulici was the all-time leading scorer for Torino with 437 games.  He was known for his partnership with Francesco Graziani, nicknamed "i gemelli del gol"("the goal twins").  In 2014 he was inducted into the Torino Hall of Fame. He also played for Udinese and Fiorentina.  In total, he played 19 matches and scored 5 goals for the Italy national football team.  He made the squad for two World Cups (1974 and 1978), but did not enter the field of play in either tournament.
Pablo Pulici

ST: Guglielmo Gabetto (Italy)
Gabetto began his career with Juventus in 1934, scoring 102 goals for the club in seven seasons.  ln 1941 he was acquired by local rivals Torino, for a notable sum of 330,000 Lit. He formed a notable attack alongside Ezio Loik and Valentino Mazzola,  Aside from goalkeeper Alfredo Bodoira, he is the only player to win the Italian championship with both Torino F.C. and cross-city rivals Juventus F.C.  He died in the Superga Air Disaster in 1949.

ST: Alessandro Rosina (Italy)
Alessandro Rosina started with Parma in 2002.  He became the driving force behind Torino's 2005–2006 promotion campaign, making 42 appearances, scoring twelve times. In two subsequent Serie A seasons, he dragged the team to survival from relegation, averaging a goal every three games as well as providing assists.  He joined Zenit St Petersburg in 2009.  He had a single cap playing against South Africa in 2007.
Alessandro Rosina


Honorable Mention
Roberto Salvadori,  Giuseppe Grezar,  Claudio Sala, Patrizio Sala, Enrico Annoni, Aldo Ballarin, Roberto Mozzini,Walter Casagrande, Lido Vieri, Luca Marchegiani, Giovanni Francini.

Squad Explanation
-- The team known as "Grande Torino" dominated Italian football in the period immediately after the War.  The won the league titles 5 times.  The team ended in tragedy when their plane crashed in Superga, Italy, killing 31 persons on board.  Seven members of that team are selected into my all-time team: Mario Rigamonti, Valerio Bacigalupo, Virgílio Maroso, Giuseppe Grezar, Guglielmo Gabetto, Franco Ossola and Valentino Mazzola
-- Valentino Mazzola is considered one of greatest Italian players ever. His son Sandro was an all-time great with Inter Milan.
--  Italy has many great defenders.  Roberto Rosato was one of them, but unfortunately, he got overlooked by a lot of experts. 
-- Junior switched to play in the midfield at the end of his career.  He played in the midfield for Torino, but I listed him as a leftback.
-- Giorgio Ferriniis the most capped player in the club's history.
--  Francesco Graziani was another obvious choice.  He is probably the most famous player from the modern era.
-- Gianluigi Lentini never recovered fro his car accident.  With Torino, however, he was to become one of the best Italian players of his generation.

Formation
Junior played in the midfield for Torino, but I am using him as a leftback here

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