In the history of Italy, the twelfth man often plays a decisive role, as happened at the European Championships in ’68 and the triumphal World Cups in 82 and 2006.
And they called them reserves. But it takes courage to consider Altobelli and Bergomi reserves at Mundial 82. The center-forward is ready when Graziani has to leave the final after a few minutes, also scoring 3-1. More dramatic is the use of Bergomi who made his debut in the World Cup in the 3-2 with Brazil, at 18, entering in the 34th minute for Collovati, and then took charge of immobilizing Rummenigge in the final. Almost owners, nothing but reserves. There is no shortage of examples in history.
In 1968 there are no substitutions and therefore for the reserves there is only … the next game. In the four finalist European Championship, Valcareggi starts against the USSR with Mazzola as center forward and Prati left wing. It ends 1-1, we win with the coin. Before the final against Yugoslavia, the coach turns to Pietruzzo Anastasi, 20, who has just been bought by Juve, and says: “Picciotto, it’s up to you!”. Convincing blue debut. As the result is 1-1, the match is repeated and Anastasi scores the first goal, while Riva closes the account. In ’70 a physical problem prevented him from going to Mexico where Roberto Boninsegna, a regular starter with an attached goal against Germany in the 4-3 of the legend, was placed at the end.
Bearzot is the 12th man
Twelfth owner is also Zaccarelli in Argentina ’78. At his debut against France, with the result at 1-1 after the first half, Bearzot replaces Antognoni with the midfielder del Toro. In seven minutes he is rewarded by the blow from outside the 2-1 that directs Italy towards qualification. Bearzot chose a few vice-owners whom he totally trusted: even Cuccureddu in ’78 and Causio in ’82.
Totò, Roby and Ale
Schillaci and Baggio would be two reserves, but Italia 90 subverts all hierarchies. When Totò enters the Olimpico against Austria, in the curriculum he has a friendly match with Switzerland and is the deputy of Carnival. There is a quarter of an hour to go and he scores the first of the 6 goals that make him king of the tournament together with Baggio, preferred to Vialli until the semifinal with Argentina. In 2006 Del Piero is not in Lippi’s thoughts but he does not forget anyone: Gilardino, Toni, Totti, Iaquinta play in attack, while Ale is quite nervous even in training. But the German magic comes true in the extra time of Italy-Germany, when Ale scores the fantastic 2-0 that takes us to Berlin. There he repeats himself at the final penalties: he makes no mistake, just like Pirlo, De Rossi, Materazzi and Grosso.
Materazzi of Germany
The couple of Azzurri central players in Germany is one of the strongest in history: Nesta-Cannavaro like Scirea-Collovati in ’82. But the Lazio player gets hurt and Lippi has to turn to the young (but already very reliable) Barzagli and the warrior Materazzi who has already scored against the Czech Republic. cold as Ronaldo from eleven meters. And they called them reserves.
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June 19, 2021 (change June 19, 2021 | 11:01 am)
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