Saturday, November 29 th, 2014
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Serie A stars in the World Cup, 1930/ Guillermo Stabile and Luis Monti
How would have been the most prestigious football stage without players coming from Italian football, and vice versa? Let's start our review from 1930 to 2010. In the first chapter, we'll talk about two Italian-Argentinian aces
by Federico Formica
From 1930 to 2010, Serie A stars shone in every World Cup. From 1930 (Guillermo Stabile), to 2010 (Wesley Snejider) through Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini and Diego Armando Maradona, Italian football has always supplied key players to the most important football stage. In our overview, from a World Cup to another, we'll follow the traces of the protagonists who wore the Serie A clubs' jerseys.

The first World Cup ever was played in Uruguay and the majority of European national teams deserted the competition to avoid travel expenses. We cannot forget that in 1930 the Western world was right  in the middle of a huge economic crisis. Jules Rimet, who strongly wanted that competition, only managed to convince Belgium, Romania, France and Jugoslavia. At the end, Uruguay raised the Cup in their home stadium Centenario in a hard fought final against Argentina. To give an idea of the atmosphere in which that final was played, the Belgian referee John Langenus demanded a life insurance before the game. The premium would have been earned by his family. Fortunately, there was no need for that, as Langenus left Uruguay safe and sound. Our review starts with... an exception to the rule. The two footballers we'll talk about played in Italy only after the end of that World Cup.

Guillermo Stabile, 1905-1966, 4 caps and 8 goals for Argentina, vice-champion in 1930.
His nickname was “el Filtrador”. Stabile was the first top goal scorer in a World Cup with 8 goals. The Argentinian player – 24 years old in 1930 – had Italian origins. He was a devastating striker: in that World Cup he scored a hat-trick to Mexico and a double against Chile in the Group phase, then another double to the United States in the semifinal and netted once in the final against Uruguay. Stabile's goal was the temporary 2-1 for Argentina, but unfortunately for him the Uruguayans made a fantastic recovery and the match ended 4-2. Soon after the World Cup, Genoa signed him for 25.000 pesos. 24 hours after his arrival – he travelled by a steamship - he scored a hat-trick to Bologna, but his Italian career was wrecked by two serious injuries – both at the right leg – in 1931 and 1933. After four years in Genoa, he spent a year at Napoli before going back to the rossoblu. At the end, the outcome was meagre: 19 goals in 62 games. Without those injuries, he would have been selected for the 1934 World Cup, as Benito Mussolini wanted to include him in the Italian national team. His destiny was to not win the World Cup at all.

Luis Monti, 1901-1983, 16 caps and 5 goals for Argentina, 18 caps and 1 goal for Italy, vice-champions in 1930, World Champion in 1934.
In the Albiceleste side that reached the final, there was another Italian-Argentinian: Luisito Monti. He was a kind of midfielder that today we'd define “defensive playmaker” and he was capable of tremendous and legendary tackles. The disappointment for the 1930 loss was so bitter that he decided to retire. He opened a pasta factory when Juventus convinced him to return on the pitch in 1931. A right decision indeed: Monti was the pillar of a team that won 4 Scudetti in a row. As it wasn't enough, he managed to balance the 1930's frustration by winning the 1934 World Cup with the Italian national team.

OTHER CHAPTERS: 1934 | 1938 | 1950 | 1954 | 1958 | 1962 | 1966 | 1970 | 1974 | 1978 | 1982 | 1986 | 1990 | 1994 | 1998 | 2002 | 2006 | 2010

Saturday, April 5 th, 2014
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