Monday, August 23, 2010

23 August 1910 - The Man From Milan

On 23 July 1910, future Italian legend Giuseppe Meazza was born in Milan. He would go on the become the Italian national team's greatest scorer and a two-time World Cup winner.

Meazza, who lost his father to the war in 1917, learned to play football barefoot on the streets of Milan. When he was 12, he began playing for local side Gloria FC and a fan bought him his first pair of football boots. He began his professional career in 1927 with Inter and was an immediate success, scoring a brace in his debut against Milanese Unione Sportiva. The following season, the first for Serie A, he scored 31 goals.

He remained with Inter for 13 seasons, winning three Serie A titles (1930, 1938, 1940) and one Coppa Italia (1939). During that period, he joined the Italian national team, earning his first cap in 1930 and winning back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938. In all, he scored 33 goals for the Azzurri, making his the national team's leading scorer until the record was broken by Gigi Riva in 1973.

In 1940, he moved across town to Milan, where he played for two seasons. He later spent time with Juventus (1942-43), Varese (1944), and Atalanta (1945-46), before returning to Inter for one last season before retiring. He turned to management, starting with Atalanta, but also taking charge of Inter (on three separate occasions) and the Italian national team before retiring completely in 1957. He died in 1979 at the age of 68. The next year, Inter and Milan renamed their joint stadium after him.

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