Episode: Legends United: Looking for Scirea and 1982 Italia


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Legends United: Looking for Scirea and 1982 Italia
With the release of a novel that looks back at the legend that is Juventus and Azzurri sweeper Gaetano Scirea, soccer translator and BTP contributor Steve Amoia joins to give us a look at not only the player himself, but the context of what he accomplished in the game and the crescendo that was the 1982 World Cup triumph for Italy and what it represented. This novel is not just about Scirea but tells a story of Italian football during a very unique period: from the agony of the Heysel Stadium tragedy, to the ecstasy of that World Cup triumph in 1982 - part existential, part calcio history lesson with brilliant insights into the most introspective and intelligent defenders of any era. We examine that history and its significance in great detail, the character of that famous world champion against the story of world football and Torino football, specifically. How that triumph was more than a celebration, but a massive psychic release for a national team that had been surrounded by tragedy, horror, disappointment and missed chances since the 1930s and what the break through meant to a calcio mad nation where only the Azzurri could ever unite a nation known more for deep divisions and controversy. We revisit the original scandal of 1980, that very first group of death at Spain 82 with Argentina, Brazil and Italy and the book explores many of the figures who featured prominently for both Juventus and the national team more than three decades later. We explore why Gaetano Scirea remains a largely forgotten figure outside of calcio and why his backbone performances for both club and country should be celebrated again. Scirea is a player cut from another time, but he is also a figure that football desperately needs to find again as fans are surrounded by misdirected hype and media miscalculates defence as something less than technical and absent of the skill that the great defenders displayed in a much different time. Looking for Scirea by Gianluca Iovine is our focus, but it opens a discussion into the heart and soul of calcio, which explains what many of his accomplishments have come to now represent, worthy of a player of his skill, talent, nobility and respect.

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