Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Torino Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Grand Torino of the 1940's

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 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..
1975-1976 Serie A Title

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 (Italy)
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. Due to his tenacious style of play, in total, he owned the Italian record of suspension in total. At the end of his career, he played in Scotland and England. 
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.
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 for 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). He won the Coppa Italia in 1967–68 and 1970–71. He played 7 times for Italy, winning the 1968 European Championship. He was one of the players who got sent out  at the infamous "Battle of Santiago" against Chile at the 1962 World Cup Finals..
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)
Giuseppe Grezar joined Torino in 1942. With Torino, Grezar played 154 times and won five consecutive Serie A scudetti.  He died with most of the team in the Superga air disaster near Turin, in May 1949. At the international level, 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 started his career with US Fiumana and Milan.  He 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.

RW: Gigi Meroni (Italy)
Gigi Meroni was known as "George Best" of Italian football for his anticonformist lifestyle. He was also a lover of art.  He played for Como and Genoa before joining Torino in 1964 with then transfer record for 21 years old and under. Tragically, he died in an accident in 1967 after becoming a fan favorite with the club.  He was only 24. Between 1966 and 1967, he was capped 6 times, scoring two goals.  He participated at the 1966 World Cup Finals.
Gigi Meroni
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 played for many clubs after the accident.  He was capped 13 times between 1991 and 1996.
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 one of the best players 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.  His son is Sandro Mazzola, who became a star player for Italy in the 1970's.
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)
Franco Ossola 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: 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: 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

Honorable Mention
Roberto Salvadori (Italy),  Giuseppe Grezar (Italy),  Claudio Sala (Italy), Patrizio Sala (Italy), Enrico Annoni (Italy), Aldo Ballarin (Italy), Roberto Mozzini (Italy)Walter Casagrande (Brazil), Muller (Brazil), Lido Vieri (Italy), Luca Marchegiani (Italy), Giovanni Francini (Italy), Nester Combin (Argentina/France), Julio Libonatti (Argentina/Italy), Franco Ossola (Italy).

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.  He was also among the greatest ever players for Italy.

-- Torino won the 1975-1976 Seria A title.  I have 6 players from the that team.  They are  Francesco Graziani, Paolo Pulici, Claudio Sala, Renato Zaccarelli and Luciano Castellini.  That seaosn, they were trailing rival Juventus 5 points at midseason. 
-- Giorgio Ferrini is the club all-time appearance record holder in Serie A.  He retired the season before Torino won Scudetto in 1976.  In November, 1976, he died from aneurysm. It was another tragic loss to the club.
-- Torino had another tragedy in the 1960's.  Gigi Meroni died after getting hit by a car in 1967.  The driver of the car was a young fan named Attilio Romero who idolised Meroni.  The boy would grow up to become the President of the club.  Meroni was nicknamed "The Maroon Butterfly". Maroon is colour associated with Torino F.C.
--  Italy has many great defenders.  Roberto Rosato was one of them, but unfortunately, he got overlooked by a lot of experts as among Italy's greatest ever defenders.  He played in two World Cup Finals. His career was associated with AC Milan.
-- 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, where he was known as one of Brazil's greatest ever.
--  Francesco Graziani was another obvious choice.  He is probably Torino's most famous player from the modern era.
--  Torino reached the UEFA Final in 1992 before losing to Ajax. Gianluigi Lentini, Enzo Scifo, Pasquale Bruno and Roberto Cravero made my all-time team.  Roberto Cravero was their captain.  They also won the Italian Cup in 1993.
-- AC Milan broke the world's transfer record to buy Gianluigi Lentini from Torino in 1992. He never recovered fro his car accident.  With Torino, however, he was projected to become one of the best Italian players of his generation.
-- Enzo Scifo reached the 1992 UEFA Cup Final in his first season with Torino and won the Italian Cup in his second.
-- Alessandro Rosina 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 earned my honourable mention.

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


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Castellini
    Poletti Rigamonti Cravero Maroso
    Junior Adolfo-Baloncieri Mazzola Sala
    Gino-Rossetti Libonatti

    I went with "the Trio of Wonders".