Torino FC Legends: Icons Who Defined an Era

Torino FC Legends: Icons Who Defined an Era

Italian club football is not where it was in the 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s when Milan, Juventus, and Inter played more than a notable role in the Champions League

Still, the Serie A ranks as the third-strongest league in Europe, and its matches manage to draw millions of eyeballs from around the globe each week during its season. Torino FC is one of Serie A’s most successful clubs, boasting seven league trophies, including five consecutive ones in the 1940s.

Yet, today, Torino is not competitive with Italy’s big dogs, and it does not get reasonable enough odds at famous sports betting sites UK platforms, like Bet365, for anyone to lay down any money on a Torino outright wager. It has not recently featured any players who have shined on the global football stage in the maroon shirt. So, we go back to yonder and rattle of four club legends that have left an indelible mark in Turin and Italy at large.

Valentino Mazzola

According to loads of famed football pundits, Mazzola often gets named among the great number 10s in the history of the sport. He began his pro career at Tresoldi, a club whose youth categories he went through. Valentino joined Torino in 1942, forming a dynamic duo with Ezio Loik under the managerial genius of Egri Erbstein. His leadership on the field made his team an unstoppable force in Serie A, dominating the league.

His unique pitch signals inspired teammates, and Mazzola’s versatility and intelligence, per virtually everyone, was ahead of his time. These qualities earned him recognition as Italy’s first calcio pin-up boy. This Italian forward/attacking midfielder tragically passed away in the 1949 Superga air disaster at the age of thirty. The cited incident involved a Fiat G.212 of Avio Linee Italiane crashing into the retaining wall of the Basilica of Superga while carrying the entire Torino football team.

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Paolo Pulici

Nicknamed Pupi and Puliciclone, Paolo Pulici may be better known as an Italian football manager to younger fans. Yet, for hard-cores, he is one of Italy’s best strikers, renowned for his prolific goal-scoring record at Torino, having netted 172 goals in all competitions for the club. Pulici formed a striking duo called The Twins of Goal at Tornio with Francesco Graziani.

He secured the Serie A top scorer title in 1972–73, 1974–75, and 1975–76 seasons, playing a vital role in the club’s success over his fourteen seasons here. Pulici left Tornio in 1982, joining Udinese and later Fiorentina before retiring. Internationally, Pulici represented Italy at the 1974 and 1978 World Cups, scoring five goals in nineteen appearances.

Julio Libonatti

Known as the Matador, Julio Libonatti began his professional career with Newell’s Old Boys. In 1925, he moved to Torino. The transfer was the first recorded trans-Atlantic one. While playing for Torino, Libonatti scored 150 goals, which is enough for him to rank as the second-highest scorer in Torino after Paolo Pulici. He secured two Scudetto titles in 1926–27 and 1927–28 and played for Genoa and Libertas Rimini.

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Internationally, Libonatti won the 1921 South American Championship with Argentina. But, he later represented Italy, winning the 1927–30 Central European International Cup. Comprising the Trio of Wonders alongside Gino Rossetti and Adolfo Baloncieri, Libonattii managed Libertas Rimini after his playing tenure.

Giorgio Ferrini

Many Torino fans believe that Alessandro Buongiorno could be the new Giorgio Ferrini, as he has displayed many of the qualities of the La Diga. For the uninformed, Ferrini is a club legend who spent his entire career at Torino. And is its most-capped player with 566 appearances, spending sixteen seasons in the city famed for its Art Nouveau architecture.

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Ferrini represented Italy, playing in the 1962 FIFA World Cup and the 1968 UEFA EURO, best recognized for his hard-working and aggressive style. He passed away in 1976, at the young age of thirty-seven, due to an aneurysm and is buried near the site of the Grande Torino air disaster.

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