Thursday, 29 August 2013

Legends of Turin's Finest ( Series 4 Claudio Gentile)

Claudio Gentile was easily one of my favourite players of all time. He was a complete rock at the back and he was feared by almost everyone and if you were to look up "Man Marking" in the footballing dictionary there would be written simply "Claudio Gentile - 1982". Even though he had a great club career his whole career is known by his performances in the 1982 World Cup which was one of the greatest set of defensive performances ever and it was up against arguably the best ever players to set a foot on the pitch.

In 1973 Gentile made his move from Serie B club Varese to Juventus and instantly impressed in his first game against Ascoli in the Coppa Italia. Gentile made 414 senior appearances for Juventus in 11 years winning one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners Cup, two Coppa Italia's and six Serie A's. Despite all of this if you ask any fan who Claudio Gentile was they would not say about his time at Juventus but his performances in the 1982 World Cup. Gentile was given the toughest job of all ... man marking arguably the best player of all time Diego Maradona. Gentile kept Maradona in his pocket the whole game and didn't give Maradona a single chance by man marking him so well. Italy then went on to win the game and progress to the next round which was a surprise to everyone as Italy went into the game underdogs. Italy then went into the next game against Brazil underdogs and once again Gentile was given the hardest job of all, man marking Zico. Zico was terrified of Gentile and it showed when once again Gentile kept a World Class player in his pocket which helped them beat the favourites once again. These performances were regarded as one of the main reasons Italy won the 1982 World Cup and Gentile is now known as one of the most feared players of all time despite this Gentile was never given a red card in his career.