Mario Corso was an artist, not an athlete. And this time nothing San Siro: he aimed higher

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Mariolino Corso he left like when he played, so, with a fake, one click, his left foot glued to the ball, ready to challenge the right back – he, number 11 of the Great Inter who in the sixties won everything – and then, with a magic, capable of imparting strange diabolical effects to the leather ball that slipped into the opponent’s net.

I’m milanista, but I damned liked Corso. He was an artist, not an athlete, so much so that Gianni Brera for him he coined not a nickname but even a phrase, “the past participle of the verb to run”, ironically on the nature of the champion, who often allowed himself pause for reflection to take a breath and re-knot the thoughts, subordinated to the essential purpose of football, that is there defeat of the rival team.

But he wanted more. He wanted astound the fans, the team mates, the coach, the patron. And often, despite the apparent indolence, he did it. A brilliant anarchist of a collective game where individuals are tolerated only if accompanied by inspiration, by fantasy, from the beauty of the gesture. The essence of the show.

Veronese, would have turned 79 next August. Great lord on the pitch, great lord in life. This is what those who admired and then met him say about him. And I confirm this to you, being one of those who have had the good fortune to exchange two words with him, the idol he had in Gianni Rivera his antagonist, and they were years of extraordinary football, of factional juxtapositions, of Guelphs and Ghibellines, of derbies in derbies: he seemed to me refined in the ways he was on the field, as soon as he felt inspired.

I imagined it on this bright Saturday of a June troubled by the terrible aftermath of the pandemic, who narrows his eyes, to focus on the target. This time, far from San Siro, his favorite audience. No, he aimed higher. Up there. He stroked the ball with his left velvet, flexed his leg slightly, inflated his muscles enough for the most left-handed of his legendary left-handed throws. The balloon shot into the sky, mocking Saint Peter, the goalkeeper of paradise. A goal from God.

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