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Rosetta and the match against Uruguay in 1928
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-12 14:49:52
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Re-enactments of champions
Virgínio Rosetta | 13/09/1942
Tells the memorable match against the Uruguayans in Amsterdam.
Saying about the most interesting match of me career is a serious problem for someone like me who has participated in 54 international matches. The Olympics in Antwerp in 1920, in Paris in 1924, in Amsterdam in 1928, the World Championship in 1934. I was a passionate actor with the aggravating circumstance of eight Italian championships won two with Pro Vercelli, six for Juventus, constitute a material so vast as to obtain a jumble of memories, one more interesting and exciting than the other. From the deck I will choose a card, a great card. Amsterdam — 1928 Olympics — Italy-Uruguay match, which ended as everyone knows with the victory of our opponents by three goals to two.
The great Scarone.
I was looking forward to this match because I was curious about the comparison with the winning team in Paris. I knew I was meeting the most formidable front line that had ever been fielded: these forwards had earned a well-deserved reputation as giants, and compared to them the ability of the other lines also disappeared which also boasted good signatures in full-back Nasazzi, in the half-backs Fernández and Andrade. But what could these count in comparison to Scarone, Petrone and companions? I saw them, and still see them in my memory, these jugglers, elusive dancers in front of the eyes in an obsessive jumble of movements that made every full-back go crazy. I also had a weakness for Scarone, the greatest inside right, in my opinion, that has ever existed. The famous British inside rights — including Jack — had nothing to do in comparison with Scarone. He was not very tall, rather stocky. Perfect in the header, he ran with the ball between his feet quickly and with a spectacular synchronization of movements. The movement of his arms was also perfect, and accompanied the feints of his body with a dribble and passes measured to the millimeter. Perfect timing choice: he attracted the opponent on himself and, when he did not overcome him with his touch and his moves of virtuosu, he passed to the unmarked partner. Scarone, as inside right, was the brain of the Uruguayan front line, that front line which, having hitherto observed as a spectator, I would have better known as a direct opponent. Scarone would not have faced me because we used to play on the right side; but it would have been equally interesting to observe how the azzurra defense would compare with him and with his line mates.
Opponent's measurement system.
On the day of the match, the field was packed to the brim, the ground perfect as a pool table. The public sympathized with us, even the Argentine players encouraged us. It was a great match. Uruguay played well, but we might have deserved to win for a very evident penalty denied us when we won for one to zero and also for the overwhelming superiority shown throughout the second half. In order to adequately face the adversary, a fighting system had to be devised entirely in keeping with the adversary's extreme mobility. At that time there was still no talk of the sistema, it was not yet in vogue, but in fact it was suggested to us on the ground by the circumstances of the game. When Uruguay attacked, we ran in defense with the help of the half-backs and two forwards. Seven defenders grappling with the first opposing line. In the counter-attack all our forwards were in line with the support of some half-back. In defense there was no precise criterion, but a perfect understanding. If my right half-back was on the opposing insider, I was on the wing. When the winger was in action, after having secured the support of the right half-back (the great Pitto), I was in action. So that, if I had been overtaken, the Uruguayan wing would have found a new opponent to face. If we hadn't done it in this way and had played man against man, as had been done up to then, that front line, especially Scarone, would have reached goal five times out of ten.
Soon the game will start on this track. The two attacks maneuvered with the insiders in a triangulating line. Many times were the wings, slightly advancing compared to their teammates, other times the insiders, other times the centre-forward: in short, all those movements that the attack triangulations suggested. When, on the other hand, we were forced to defend and from here we started to counter-attack, then the action developed in a double W with the withdrawn insiders.
The system of today was one of our systems of that day
Many systems in one, to be able to play against formidably equipped opponents. A system that is better to say mixed, according to the development of the game. When we talk about the sistema today it makes me think back then, that there were no systems, but in fact they were already such, even if not codified. Nothing new under the sun! Only I have the impression that today it would not be too easy for the various Italian teams to devise such a varied and multifaceted game system. That is, one starts with a program and develops it, adopts a system more or less responsive to the possibilities of the players of a team, and that is followed even if during a game, due to game coincidences or special contingencies, it would be appropriate vary it, adopting a different tactic.
That was, I repeat, a great game and we played it so well that most of the audience was won over by our game and in the evening came en masse to applaud us under the balcony of the hotel. I don't remember having signed as many autographs as back then. And so my companions, who were: Combi; Caligaris; Pitto, Bernardini, Janni; Rivolta, Baloncieri, Schiavio, Magnozzi and Levrato. The reserve Banchero and Sole Commissioner Augusto Rangone.
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