The last cup raised eaves revenge: it is the Bull with a heart broken by the poles of Amsterdam by the farewells of Lentini, Cravero, Polivano, Benedetti, Bresciani, Martin Vazquez. But that Bull is still a good team, which has been able to find a way, its way and, licking its wounds, has started to load again.
We really went to get the last cup raised. We went to get it in the thickest fog. We went to get it looking at our cousins in the balls of the eyes, hoisting our flag on the Mole. Above all, we literally went to hell, a Giallorossi hell, a whistle hell, in a game on the edge of reality.
The Bull comes into play in the second round against Monza and mortgages the qualification already at the “Brianteo” winning 3-2: a lob of Silenzi followed by a great punishment by Aguilera for the double advantage, the brace by Brogi to piss us off a little bit and a razor from outside Sordo to put everything in place 4 ‘from the end. The return is a formality decided by Aguilera, served directly by a long throw in Annoni who catches the Brianza rear guard. For the rest, it is only remembered for a sensational cross of the mysterious Saralegui object and, above all, for the entry into the field of Alvise Zago at 64 ‘, returned to wear the Toro shirt after the cursed injury of Marassi in 1989.
After Monza, it’s Bari’s turn. At “San Nicola” good 1-1: Scifo opens, left alone on the edge of the small area, on Silenzi’s tower, Berardino Capocchiano equalizes with an intervention under measure. To report a miracle of Gentili on the header of a certain Christian Vieri (sigh). On the return the hero is Annoni who takes us ahead with a free kick deflected by Rizzardi and, in the 92nd minute, when we take a totally insane counterattack, he manages to recover on Alessio, who had already avoided Marchegiani, preventing extra time. The Marathon sings “we will win the tricolor” with a hint of sweet irony, because the Toro, despite some small stumbles like Borgonovo’s brace in the recovery that cancels a victory already made in Pescara, is the only team that is keeping up with the Milan, stellar Milan, Lentini’s Milan, who won them all. The grenades are second by themselves at -2 from the Rossoneri, who have one race less. Put simply they are the first of the humans and the reason for the chorus is that Sunday grenade and rossoneri will be right in front of San Siro. It will end 0-0, with a couple of good chances in the first half (a resounding failure by Aguilera on Casagrande’s golden assist), half an hour in ten for the expulsion of Mussi and a lot of heart, that without that does not stop a team that he won with everyone.
The Italian cup returns in late January, but unfortunately finds another bull. After the 0-0 draw in Milan, the Bull wins 2-1 at the Olimpico against Lazio and that’s enough. The blow on morale is given by the derby, who loses in the worst possible way, that is, on 94 ‘on a sensational own goal by Venturin, after being ahead. From that moment only draws and defeats, the last two internal and very painful: the one with Napoli because it takes place by the hand (or rather, by the head) of Policano in the “core ‘ngrato” version and the one with Inter for the whole game built that it would have made even a tie.
Sucked in the middle of the standings, for us the quarter-final first leg against Lazio could be the start of a raise to resume the discussion ended with the success with the biancocelesti in the championship, but it seems that it does not go like that, as a football demonstrates two in the area, fortunately without success, unexpectedly given away after a few moments. Gascoigne, back from a burp in favor of the camera days before, plays a first half by the God of football, we don’t keep it in any way. At 5 ‘Fortunato jumps and crosses from the right: Marchegiani and Riedle throw themselves on the ball, but the winning paw, on the loose ball, is by Maurizio Neri. At 35 ‘, after two treacherous conclusions foiled by Marchegiani (one following an action in which he literally dances on the sphere in the midst of only grenade links that seem to speak another football language for how they cannot counter it), “Magpie” drunk Fusi who, jumped, tackles him from the ground, as if he were a dribbled goalkeeper and not one of the best Italian defenders. Sguizzato (remember this name) indicates the disk and Signori transforms from a stationary. The Bull seems to have two legs out of the tournament, if not three, but then one thing happens.
Luca Fusi is someone who passes half the pitch a few times, but when it happens it’s worth it. It does so, for example, if it is to receive the ball on the development of a corner and score a great goal for the ex at Napoli. Or he does it on a dream evening against Real Madrid, when he finds himself ready on Lentini’s low cross and sends the Marathon directly to the moon. Or he does it on an evening in late January, not so much because he feels guilty for having trivially caused the penalty of the 2-0 Lazio, but because the Bull is at the bottom of a well and only those who wear the captain’s armband can understand it and can bring it up. And then Luca Fusi passes half the field, in the recovery of the first half, when Lazio only waits for the referee’s whistle to go to rest on a comfortable advantage.
Fusi picks up a ball at twenty five meters, it would even seem to be able to try the shot, instead, with elegance, he maradonescently jumps first Cravero and then Winter, finding himself in the area. Winter tries to get back on him, Luzardi tries to close him in a slip, but the captain, falling, manages to touch eluding Fiori out. In this section I often talked about sliding doors and they were all sliding doors on which we slammed the muzzle. This time not. Without that goal from Fusi, Lazio would have gone to rest all over and maybe there would have been the third goal and who knows what else. With that goal the Bull reopens the game, qualifying and, above all, starts to be the one at the beginning of the season. Without that goal we would never have raised the Italian Cup in that same stadium in five months. With that goal, signed just by whoever lifts it first, a piece of happy ending is already written and, incredible to say, a part of us knows and completely changes mood.
In the second half is another Taurus, perky, gritty, with the tough face of some young people, such as the substitute Della Morte, to guide him forward to complete the comeback. Annoni goes close to us, with a place deflected by Sclosa who ends up on the post at Fiori strabattuto, he goes close with Fortunato on an assist by Della Morte and finally he succeeds 2 ‘from the end. On the punishment of Scifo, Fiori learns and misses the ball on the net. It is 2-2 outside: a half victory.
The season of the Bull, as mentioned, changes. We start the second round by beating 1-0 both the Ancona (great goal by Poggi, let’s also remember this name, and a pinch of luck) and the Brescia (penalty by Scifo, Goveani’s first game as president and game known for the fact Bruno-Raducioiu). Then there is the return which should also be my first night game. “Provided there is no fog,” says my father the day before. On Wednesday, in the late afternoon, a hallucinating fog descends on Turin. The same game is played, but my appointment with the Bull in the evening is postponed and instead of a cold seat I follow the race in the heat in the bed with headphones: I would have changed immediately.
Fog then: the Marathon fans are transferred to the stands and unfortunately they see well the injury with which Aloisi ends his grenade season prematurely. You can also clearly see Bacci’s reckless head on Aguilera who leaves the Biancocelesti in ten to half an hour and, speaking of unmotivated bullshit, that of Luzardi at 45 ‘reliably slips Orsi for the Bull’s 1-0. Shooting: Gentlemen get a penalty and Marchegiani saves it. The defense of Lazio is in the mood for presents: at 62 ‘Bergodi’s touch is decisive for the doubling of Casagrande and at 77’ Deaf receives the ball from an incorrect disengagement from Luzardi, wins a carambola with Marcolin and triples. “Goleada” declaims the voice of Fabrizio Bellone on the radio. I relax, close my eyes in a half-sleep and enjoy a peaceful ending or at least I think so, because in the increasingly dense fog Signori and Winter score at 84 ‘and 86’ reopening everything in a situation bordering on reality. My eyes become two lights when Lazio can take advantage of a free kick in that crazy final, but the 3-3 does not arrive. On the other hand, the Italian Cup semifinal arrives. And not just any: the derby.
In the double confrontation we seem to be, for once, to be favorites and not only for the advantage over the Bianconeri, but because we are more team, concrete without disdaining, sometimes, to be also beautiful. For the calendar we play at home and the first half seems to confirm what is expressed on the card, but we don’t throw it in. Type that I have yet to understand now how Torricelli managed to repel Casagrande’s header on the line. At the start of the second half, however, Sergio stretches De Marchi and Nicchi, after having denied one to Casagrande in the first fraction, he gives Juventus the right penalty with Baggio transforming. But then even when we are favorites and we play better, we can not rest assured? Obvious: no. You need an amulet, a fetish, something. He enters at 60 ‘, his name is Paolo as someone who just hearing him name forces the humpbacks to look for the nearest toilet. He made us win in Ancona, he made us win in Genoa with Samp three days before. The roar of the Marathon when he detects Sergio makes him the Chosen: from Venice to the derby of the Mole, Paolo Poggi is about to become the man of destiny, the executioner of his cousins. At 79 ‘Annoni tries to enter the area with stubbornness from the right and, even if he loses his balance, he confuses the defense and rolls the ball towards Scifo who crosses, Casagrande puts it in the head center, there is a deviation, but Above all, there is Poggi, who coordinates and strikes on the left with a naturalness that seems to make an enormous gesture accessible to everyone. 1-1 at home, stay tight. You need a tie with goals or a win for the final.
Speaking of the final, Roma-Milan is on the other side of the scoreboard. And many, in fact, believe that for the Rossoneri, now with the Scudetto in their pocket, the semifinal is a formality, so they are unbeatable, indeed, we must all be happy, because if we pass and meet Capello’s team we will go to the Cup of the Cups, who cares if we don’t raise the trophy. Here, no. No. Bella, eh, the Cup of Cups, but what taste can it have if the trophy you should go for is raised by Baresi and not Fusi? Roma seem to listen to us and wins 2-0 in the first leg, then resists the return (1-0 defeat and penalty missed by Papin). Much better this way.
It’s all a moment
The return starts badly for Toro: the 1-0 can be summed up with a four-letter word on which you sit (Conte’s acrobatics, ball hitting the crossbar and then on to Marchegiani before entering), but the grenade does not they give up and attack. Mondonico anticipates the Sergio-Poggi change immediately after the break and at 52 ‘here is the apotheosis: Annoni crossed from the right quarter and Paolino (yes, Paolino) hits the left wing in a wonderful way (for me, since that evening, shooting with the left-handed is that thing there), crossing for Peruzzi impartially, making a people go crazy with joy, giving himself a race under the Marathon and officially becoming the bogeyman of the bianconeri. When he goes to Udinese, in a play-off to go to UEFA, always at “Delle Alpi”, it will be his goal to force Juventus to Intertoto. Some friends had advised him cheerfully to put our shirt under the Friulian one, but Poggi says, laughing, that he refused because it would have been too much. It doesn’t matter, his duty did it there too.
1-1, we would go to extra time. But then, in a minute, everything changes again. At 62 ‘Torricelli wins a rebound with Sordo and puts Ravanelli in a position to overcome Marchegiani at the exit. They would pass. Legend has it that the ever-tempered White Pen is still turned towards his curve to cheer when we kick off. We lose some things: Annoni who shoots more or less from the same position in which he did it for the 1-1 in an area full of grenades, as it should always be. Poggi is free to lean Casagrande on his head, Walter stops with his chest and continues on to Aguilera who arrives like a bullet. Legend has it that Ravanelli now turns towards the Marathon, just to see Pato’s shot that enters the goal despite Peruzzi’s desperate touch on the way out. The black and white number eleven kneels on the ground, we fly crazy under the curve, because with 2-2 the Bull passes.
The ending is long, but little or nothing happens, if not a sumptuous Daniele Fortunato in midfield and Vialli who tries to take a penalty. The minutes go by slowly, but they pass. Recovery is infinite. Sguizzato (re-relocate this name) never whistles, then in the end he has to give up and he does it three times. Bull in the Italian Cup final. The game is played on June 12 and 19, tonight is March 31: an eternity. I wish it was already now.
June arrives. The head to the Italian Cup final, however, is not good for the Bull who collects an impressive series of draws and only one victory, as it happens on the road against Roma, in a crazy 5-4 with Aguilera’s hat-trick (two on punishment) and a nonexistent penalty for the Giallorossi (let’s remember this too). Unfortunately there is also an internal 5-0 mortifying against Cagliari to be registered. The grenades end up ninth, but the Coppa Italia final is another story entirely.
Speaking of other stories, the 1979/80 comes to mind when the Bull arrives in the final with four 0-0 defeating Lazio and Juventus on penalties: same path, different ways. The fifth 0-0 will be in the dry match of the Olimpico against Roma and, from the spot, we rewrote the concept of throwing a cup in the toilet. Yes, this must be another story this time.
The great beauty
The first is at the “Delle Alpi”. The banner of the Bull doing a certain thing with a certain part of the body at the Lupa is the welcome of the Marathon to the live broadcast. We begin immediately to bomb Fimiani, the goalkeeper of the Primavera who is playing the chance of life for the double suspension of Cervone and Zinetti, decidedly hot after the semifinal with Milan. The young man was immediately forced to do a double save on Venturin and Annoni, but on the 17th minute he capitulated. Aguilera’s passage for Silenzi who begins to be the hero of the double final with a winning diagonal low shot. Benedetti touches her imperceptibly, today it would be Pennellone’s goal, in our heart it is his goal, in the heart of the Marathon that seems to swallow the universe with its roar as well. 1-0.
The first half flows nervously, he mostly pulls from the outside, Marchegiani has more slimy hands than we are used to seeing him. The interval is not a bad idea and in the second half, in fact, it is a more loose Bull, like the one at the start of the race. As if he knew that the 1-0 is a risk, as if he already felt the smell of sulfur. The first to scare us, is actually Giannini who, launched by Rizzitelli, pulls on the face of Marchegiani and then, with an impromptu falling flying heel, touches the crossbar and a goal to tell the grandchildren. But then it’s just us. At 52 ‘Aguilera takes a free-kick in the area, Fortunato makes the tower and Cois, who took over from Annoni, finds the best time for his first center with the grenade jersey. 2-0, a good mortgage in theory, but it is not enough if you are about to end up in a Dante group. Let’s attack again. Venturin makes a hallucinating number, entering the area in the race on the touch of Scifo and trying a lob that comes out of nothing making a “big thing” escape to Bettega who is commenting. Then, at 78 ‘, there are three: Fortunato tries, on a corner action, the tower for Aguilera, the defense replies and then he sets up on his own, on the right flight, almost from the bottom line, putting it in the only space available and exulting as if everything was normal, not a 3-0 that could mortgage the cup. Mondonico who says “yes” looking at the sky is a distillate of happiness, the most beautiful image, perhaps, of his four years with us. The sense of joy I felt at the end of that race, knowing that the cup was there, is as pure as a fan can feel. I don’t know how many times I’ve felt like this, but, returning from my grandmother’s house where I saw the race, I know I wasn’t walking. I was flying.
“We came to get the cup”, this is the banner that stands in the guest sector of the Olympic Stadium. A clear, bold, secure message. More sinister messages, however, turn on some flyers intended for the grandstand, where you are invited to a party after the match to celebrate the cup. Okay, hope is the last to die, but how can you be sure of celebrating a cup starting from 0-3? Maybe there is something that escapes us, something that we do not know and to say that a life of beating should have taught us a lot, but perhaps such a thing is too much even for a sadly trained soul.
Hell begins when Sguizzato (you had memorized the name, right?) Whistles the beginning of what will also be his last game in his career, where he really wants to be remembered. He starts at 20 ‘when, on a ball headed back in the area by Giannini, Carnival chases him with Cois at his side and then, realized that he is too far away, he decides to fall. Penalty. The faces of ours are between disgusting and unbelieving, Mondonico’s lip, never so angry, is forbidden to minors. Giannini transforms the gift. We understood where we ended up. The commentators have also understood this, despite all the diplomacy of the case with which they comment on the non-existence of the penalty. Brawl principles begin everywhere, Giannini commits a bad foul on Scifo and Sguizzato cannot avoid warning him. Despite this, the Bull has a cold head and in the recovery of the first half he seems to be crumbling the plan of Rome: Scifo triangles with Sordo and finds Silenzi who controls and, diagonally, puts four goals between us and them. And that’s where, after 45 ‘of apnea, I’m wrong. And that’s where we all go wrong. We believe it is done. Instead the flames of hell are still there ready to snatch us and whistle at us against everything. Those flyers don’t want to burn.
The second half began and within 5 ‘we took two goals: Rizzitelli headed the corner and Giannini with another penalty, which this time was there (Mussi on Hassler). The head returns cold at 53 ‘: punishment of Scifo, tower of Fortunato and Silenzi stands over Benedetti, climbing over Fimiani not exactly well placed. Rome 3 Bull 2, they must make three. The fights continue, Piacentini names God in vain after a conflict with Fusi and then another whistle comes to the rescue. Carnevale clings to Cois, enters the area and as soon as it feels the touch of the grenade it plunges itself: already brave penalty to give if you have not assigned any, if you are in the third there are no adjectives available. The arms of ours are in the air or in the head, Mondo doesn’t get pissed anymore. Giannini transforms again. Two goals separate the Bull from the prank and become one when Mihajlovic makes the fifth with a masterpiece punishment in the 65th minute.
We are in hell, the sixth goal seems inevitable, but at that point take something. The god of football realizes that losing too would be too much for us. The terror of taking the sixth, with the passing of the minutes, becomes the crazy certainty that we will not take it. I only have flashes. Cois that sweeps any ball that comes within range. Marchegiani who performs a miracle on Benedetti. Giannini’s stake. The infinite recovery. We are all on the field and we try in every way not to make him do that damned sixth. If Sguizzato tries to give a fourth penalty, an invisible hand would throw the whistle away. Roma fans, who tend to not particularly dislike me, have often built the rhetoric of the cup that goes to the other curve, never a joy: if all the other times they are right (Roma-Liverpool makes the magone come also to me, to say one) this time don’t even try. It would be false, fictitious, hateful to regret a victory that would have been a theft. The sixth doesn’t come, we won. We are burned, burned, burned. We came out of hell with the cup in hand and when Luca raises it, everything disappears. The lob of Salsano disappears, the three finals lost at the beginning of the 80s, “Thanks Rome” which make it echo believing to make us a spite, the two obscene penalties out of three, the flyers. There is only Luca with the cup and then Andrea, Daniele, Pato, Pasquale, all the others. Emiliano is on the sidelines, exhausted. There is only the Bull with a cup in his hand and a crazy guest sector. There is me who was taking the middle school exams thinking only of this cup and that when a professor of mine will make me the pippone just for my thinking about this with so much transport I would just tell him (besides the fact that in the end I had taken “distinguished “Which was not a bad mark) that makes me so sad, without any horror, because you will never understand what I felt that evening and will never understand what I am feeling now, 27 years later to think about it and what I will try every time that in my mind I will remember that cup against everything and everyone.
Born in 1979, Toro fan since 1985 thanks to Junior (or better, to one of his figurines). The first I remember a goal by Pusceddu in San Siro, the first pissed off his elimination with Tirol, I have a secular cult for Policano, Lentini and … Marinelli. Sometimes I think of the crossbar of Sordo and I understand that it hasn’t passed me yet.
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