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Vittorio Pozzo comments on Sindelar
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-03-23 11:19:53
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Il grande campione dalla tragica morte
26/01/1939 | di Vittorio Pozzo
Sindelar, or der papierene — Italian translation: carta velina — they called him in Vienna. He had, yes; athletic structure, in the sense that he was tall, slender and that his features expressed energy and determination. But he was skinny, dry, impressively dry. He had no muscle, no consistency. In profile he seemed flat, thin, transparent, as if — excuse the slightly irreverent Alpine phrase that comes to mind — his mother had inadvertently seated on him when was just born.
Artista della finta
Seeing him play, he transformed himself. He was the master of the ball, the artist of the feint. When he made his debut in the Austrian "national" he did not find a good press: too light for the fight, too ethereal for the fiery atmosphere of the matches where Austria was the team to beat then. The mistrust did not last long: the space of a few months turned into enthusiasm. "Sindi" had understood what was wanted from him. He made up for the lack of physique immediately with his intelligence. He had learned to unmark himself in a masterly way. Left free, he distributed, sorted, dictated attack themes, became the true intelligence of the front line.
Touched hard he flattened, he assumed that victim-like attitude to which the parchment-colored face and the fragile type physique lent themselves so well. And, even though he lived in a city that his champions idolized, he was loved as few. Uridil, the famous Rapid tank, was honored with one of the most popular Vienna songs; Siegl received the nickname of Burgermeister, but Sindelar became an idol.
Credeva nel "rigore"
He really had something to enthuse about in his game. His repertoire was the most bluntly Viennese imaginable. Master of the feint, it was said. His feints weren't haphazard, theatrical, pronounced. It was a hint, a nuance, an artist's touch. He pretended to go to the right and then converged to the left with the ease, the lightness, the elegance of a Strauss dance step, while the opponent, deceived and not even touched, ended up on the ground in his vain attempt to charge. Then, when this game of his was successful, Sindi was inspired; like the real artist. There was no longer any way to keep him in check.
He slipped away, took on unexpected subtleties of touch, ridiculed his opponent, and ended up making him, so evanescent, the figure of a giant. Anyone who has not seen him in Vienna, at the time we were taking lessons, or in the spring of 1931 against Scotland, or in London, at Stamford Bridge, at the end of the meeting with England, has not seen anything.
If you tried to foul him, to go hard on him, that meant trouble. Our Monti, from Juventus, knows something about it. One of those natural, instinctive, irresistible dislikes. The Vienese did not like the male, positive, decisive tone of Luisto. The Italian did not like that ballerina dance that was done in front of him, like a joke. Sindelar was not like the Corinthian and evangelical S. S. Harris, Sindelar believed in "rigor" and sought it. He too was looking for him in his unpleasant contacts with Monti. Sindelar on the ground who is dying with his hand extended in a final gesture of imploring to the avenging referee, and Monti who with a look that defines the whole scene as a farce, goes back, peaceful, here is the recurring episode of the Italy-Austria meetings of long years. Three quarters of the unpopularity suffered by Monti on the fields beyond the border was due to the campaign staged for him because he had dared and continued to dare to technically touch and materially tear down an idol.
Idolo delle folle
The Italian sportsmen, who at the time admired and feared him, our footballers, who in the conquest of world record considered the study to neutralize the work of carta velina as one of the most difficult stages of their march, bow before the disappearance of the man in whom they no longer see the opponent, but the colleague, the artist, the supreme exponent of a school. They greet him moved.
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