At the splendid setting of the Salone dei Cinquecento at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, the awards ceremony was held for the Italian Football Hall of Fame which has been running since it was founded by the FIGC in 2011 and Fondazione Museo del Calcio to celebrate the players, coaches, referees and directors who made an indelible mark on Italian football. Another eleven legendary figures have entered the Hall of Fame after the final list emerged from an original total of 77 candidates. They were: Alessandro Del Piero (Italian player), Ruud Gullit (Foreign player), Osvaldo Bagnoli (Italian Coach), Sergio Campana (Italian Director), Bruno Conti (Italian veteran), Elisabetta Vignotto (Italian female player) along with Stefano Farina, Italo Allodi, Renato Dall’Ara, Arpad Weisz and Azeglio Vicini (Posthumous awards).
At the ceremony, Extraordinary FIGC Commissioner Roberto Fabbricini, Assistant Commissioners Alessandro Costacurta and Angelo Clarizia, CEO and UEFA Vice-President Michele Uva, current Italy Coach Luigi Di Biagio along with Team Manger Gabriele Oriali attended. UEFA Vice-Secretary Giorgio Marchetti, Member of the FIFA Council Evelina Christillin and Honorary FIGC Member Antonio Matarrese were all also in attendance. The Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella performed the honours at the event. Illaria d’Amico was the presenter with the night beginning with the announcement for a new prize in memory of Davide Astori.
“This year, we’re celebrating 120 years of the FIGC and 60 years of Coverciano. I can also add that Florence is the capital of Italian football. We’re working with the biggest Italian sporting federation, we’re happy when something is seen in a positive way and football is a positive thing,” said Extraordinary Commissioner Roberto Fabbricini.
“By getting a sense of the participation from all of Italian football, it was agreed with the jury that there will be a special fair play prize from next year in memory of Davide Astori,” announced Alessandro Costacurta from the stage.
“The shocking loss of Astori brought Fiorentina and the National Team even closer together,” said the Mayor Dario Nardella. “When I tell people across the world that Florence is the base of the National Team, it always strikes them and their interest and enthusiasm and enthusiasm for the city grows.”
CEO Uva thanked Mayor Nardella, the jury and the prize winners who travelled long distances to be in attendance. “Those who’ve come on this stage have created some beautiful moments in football. Obviously, they’re taking to the message that we wanted to give out that young people can have the chance to get to know the stars of the game.” Uva then commented on recent successes for various National Youth Teams. “Qualification for our male and female youth teams to various European Championship finals offer a concrete sign of hope. Together with the Commissioner Fabbricini and the Sub-Commissioners, we’re looking to build a good path for the future of our game.”
The winners were chosen in December by a jury consisting of Ussi President Luigi Ferrajolo with editors from the main sporting newspapers and media sources Andrea Monti (La Gazzetta dello Sport), Alessandro Vocalelli (Il Corriere dello Sport/Il Guerin Sportivo), Paolo De Paola (Tuttosport), Gabriele Romagnoli (Rai Sport), Federico Ferri (Sky Sport), Matteo Marani (Sky Sport 24), Alberto Brandi (Sport Mediaset) and Piercarlo Presutti (Servizi sportivi Ansa). Uva was also in attendance.
Platini, Van Basten, Batistuta, Maradona, Ronaldo and Falcão are among the prestigious winners of the Foreign Player with Gullit the latest player to go on the list. “I want to thank Italy because it taught me a lot,” said the Dutch great who donated a Milan shirt with the Scudetto patch to the Museo del Calcio. “I saw a lot of passion here because you know how to appreciate the beauty of things. In my day, Italian football was at the top of the world, so I’m honoured to receive this prize.”
Alessandro Del Piero was recognised in the Italian Player category and goes on a list with other legends such as Baggio, Maldini, Baresi, Cannavaro, Vialli and Bergomi. “The National Team requires total commitment, it’s the best thing for a footballer. I started playing with a ball as a child in the streets as it happened. I was the smallest and the most shy but I chased my dream of being a footballer with determination and passion. It was then a dream that ended in the best of ways by winning the World Cup.
Another World Cup winner in Bruno Conti entered the Hall of Fame in the Veteran category. He presented a medal with his image and the date when Italy won the 1982 World Cup. “I went from Rome to winning a World Cup so I can say that I had a very satisfying career. Comparisons with Maradona and Zico? We’re talking about two phenomenal players. I had similar characteristics to both even if I played in a different role, I was out wide and had to help the team to defend.”
Osvaldo Bagnoli entered into the Italian Coach category. He presented a painting with images from Verona’s 1985 Scudetto win to the Museo del Calcio at Coverciano. “Unfortunately, I’ve lost my memory and I’ve forgotten certain things but I remember the Scudetto win well.”
An icon of Italian women’s football, Elisabetta Vignotto presented an old Italy shirt from when the Women’s National Team wasn’t under the control of the FIGC. “Women’s football is going in the direction that it needs to go in with men’s clubs getting involved. It should have happened earlier but we’re now on a new path with the girls in the National Team looking to qualify for the World Up. I’m cheering them on.”
The Italian Director award went to the Assocalciatori founder Sergio Campana while posthumous prizes were dedicated to Stefano Farina, Italo Allodi, Renato Dall’Ara, Arpad Weisz and the Italian Coach during the ‘Notti Magiche’ Azeglio Vicini.
Before the ceremony, the prize winners and jury members along with some FIGC representatives were at the Federal Technical Centre at Coverciano when the outgoing Minister for Sport Luca Lotti offered his greetings.
Italian Football Hall of Fame
Italian Players: Roberto Baggio (2011), Paolo Maldini (2012), Franco Baresi (2013), Fabio Cannavaro (2014), Gianluca Vialli (2015), Giuseppe Bergomi (2016), Alessandro Del Piero (2017).
Foreign Players: Michel Platini (2011), Marco Van Basten (2012), Gabriel Batistuta (2013), Diego Armando Maradona (2014), Ronaldo (2015), Paulo Roberto Falcão (2016), Ruud Gullit (2017).
Italian Coaches: Arrigo Sacchi (2011), Marcello Lippi (2011), Giovanni Trapattoni (2012), Fabio Capello (2013), Carlo Ancelotti (2014), Roberto Mancini (2015), Claudio Ranieri (2016), Osvaldo Bagnoli (2017).
Italian Directors: Adriano Galliani (2011), Giampiero Boniperti (2012), Massimo Moratti (2013), Giuseppe Marotta (2014), Corrado Ferlaino (2015), Silvio Berlusconi (2016), Sergio Campana (2017).
Referees: Pierluigi Collina (2011), Luigi Agnolin (2012), Paolo Casarin (2012), Cesare Gussoni (2013), Sergio Gonella (2013), Stefano Braschi (2014), Roberto Rosetti (2015).
Italian Veterans: Gigi Riva (2011), Dino Zoff (2012), Gianni Rivera (2013), Sandro Mazzola (2014), Marco Tardelli (2015), Paolo Rossi (2016), Bruno Conti (2017).
Italian Female Players: Carolina Morace (2014), Patrizia Panico (2015), Melania Gabbiadini (2016), Elisabetta Vignotto (2017).
Posthumous Awards: Giovanni Ferrari, Giuseppe Meazza, Silvio Piola, Gaetano Scirea, Enzo Bearzot, Fulvio Bernardini, Vittorio Pozzo, Ferruccio Valcareggi, Ottorino Barassi, Artemio Franchi, Giovanni Mauro (From 2011), Valentino Mazzola, Angelo Schiavio, Nereo Rocco, Concetto Lo Bello (From 2012), Eraldo Monzeglio (From 2013), Ferruccio Novo, Carlo Carcano, Giacomo Bulgarelli (From 2014), Giacinto Facchetti, Helenio Herrera, Umberto Agnelli (From 2015), Nils Liedholm, Giulio Campanati, Cesare Maldini (From 2016), Stefano Farina, Italo Allodi, Renato Dall’Ara, Arpad Weisz, Azeglio Vicini (From 2017).