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Hungary-Italy, 22/10/1933: Meazza and company
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-07-14 17:53:54
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
MEAZZA'S FORMER COACH TELLS US HOW TO KEEP MEAZZA COLD
(AND THE ENTIRE ITALIAN FORWARD LINE)
B. M. B | 19/10/1933
Sunday: Hungarian-Italian match. Meazza is back in the Italian team... So what are they talking about in Budapest today? The Italian team, Meazza and whether we can win against the Italians...
Let's talk about it ourselves.
The journalist talks to one coach of the big teams. The coach is very knowledgeable about Italian affairs. He knows the Italian players almost as well as he knows his own players.
He is picking up a booklet from the table: I Campioni del giorno — The Heroes of the day. That's the title of this rather hefty booklet. The first issue was about Locatelli, the great Italian cyclist. The second is about Meazza. Emilio Colombo, editor-in-chief of La Gazzetta dello Sport, writes about Meazza. The coach of the great team translates:
A CAREER TAKES OFF
Born on 23 August 1910, Meazza came from a very simple middle-class family. His talent for playing was noticed at a very early age... He was recognised by his friends as the captain of the balilla-team. In 1925, Meazza was transferred to the Internationale in Milan. He played for the Allievi (youth) team. In 1927, he makes his first appearance for the first team in Bergamo. Internationale wins 6:3. He makes his second appearance for Milan against US Milan. Meazza wins 3:2 and after the match the big merger takes place: Internazionale and Milan merge. There are a lot of players and the fact that Meazza doesn't make the squad. But by a coincidence, on 27 September 1927, Meazza is due to play in Como. And with three goals Meazza launches his glorious football career.
In 1927-28 he was playing regularly in every match. In 1929-30 he starts to be written about as a great player: Un fanciullo... Di trent'anni — A child... Of thirty-years — is the title of a sports magazine, which wants to say that Meazza is still in his infancy, so to speak, but his game is already like that of a 30-year-old footballer, so well-established, so routine. We turn the pages of the book:
And it came to the most unforgettable match of all, which took place in Budapest on 11 May 1930. In the run-up to the European Cup.
Meazza was the leader of the Italian national team that almost demolished the Hungarian national team. His magnificent play delighted not only those who witnessed the match, but also the hundreds of thousands of people who listened to the match on the radio in Italy.
He showed his excellence when he scored three of the five goals from individual play.
ON THE NECK OF MEAZZA...
The coach of this big team puts down the notebook and the journalist asks him:
— As Meazza's former coach, can you tell me how to prevent Meazza from scoring goals?
A: Of course. Let's look at the Italian forward line. Two names stand out. Meazza and Orsi. Although I should note that their new right winger Guarisi is also so talented that he's not much by a long way from the above two. What is the right tactic against Meazza? Nothing other than to be on his back all the time. The Hungarian centre-half (Sárosi) should not move away from Meazza.
— So the recipe is the same, as it was in Vienna: you must not to move away from Sindelar.
A: That's right. And we need to do the same for our two wing half-backs. Szalay should be on Orsi and Palotás on Guarisi. The Italians have three players who have nothing to do but score goals. They are the centre-forward and the two wingers. Cesarini and Ferrari, on the other hand, are the facchino. In other words, they are the porters. They're the ones who have to work at the back. They have to carry the ball for the centre-forward and the wingers.
— And what is the role of the two Hungarian full-backs?
A: They have to be very careful! They must not get too far ahead. They have to be between centre-half and full-back, always ready. I know that Korányi likes to come forward out of frivolity and passion for the game, and Biró more out of inexperience. This must not happen on a Sunday. I know that many people talk about Korányi's speed, but where is Korányi's speed compared to Meazza's?
— How much does Meazza run in 100 metres?
— Pisti — our informant calls across the room — how much did Meazza run? (Pisti was Meazza's running partner.)
Pisti: Usually, the answer is 11 seconds, but Meazza also ran 10.9.
HOW DOES MEAZZA CARRY THE BALL?
A:But the 100 metres is not important for Meazza. His main strength is his initial speed. 30 metres! He is unrivalled in this. I've seen a lot of footballers, but I've never seen one that fast. And Meazza is not only fast, he is fast with the ball. All this talk about W-formation and whatnot... There is a W-formation, but it needs good players. Fast like Meazza. But where do we have fast players today? Where is a player like Meazza? Meazza can take the ball in any situation and pass it on quickly. With his head held high!! He keeps the ball at medium height most of the time, so his line of sight includes the ball and the opposing goalkeeper. And when that goalkeeper runs out, Meazza can see the ball and he can also see the movement of the goalkeeper, and he can shoot the ball at the goal or dodge the goalkeeper...
» We need a closed defence against the Italians - he continues after a break.
— What do you mean by a closed defence?
A: This includes the whole half-back line, the direct protection and even the two inside forwards. Each of them has the job of not letting the opponent's attack unfold, because if it does, you're in trouble. If Meazza leaves our centre-half in the lurch, then, with his sure ball handling, he can easily lift the ball over the full-backs and that can be fatal.
GOAL! - FOR THEM!
— Shall we turn one now? How to score a goal in the Italian team?
A: I mentioned that our inside forwards should be at the front and at the back. It is for this reason that the two wingers play both roles of wingers and inside forward, the centre-forward plays the centre-forward role, the right insider and the left insider. Now, for example, if our forwards leave the two backs alone, Caligaris can eat the whole forward line by himself. Rosetta, if he is disturbed a bit, immediately loses his composure, and if Caligaris is disturbed, he immediately starts kicking holes that are a joy to watch. But all this is not enough. There's a third back: Monti. So against the Italian defence, our centre-forward has a very special tactic to employ. For example, he must not pass the ball in front of him. If he passes it long, it goes to Combi, the goalkeeper, if he passes it short, he bumps into the two full-backs. So what would be the solution? He has to move the ball to the side. Let's say he pulls to the right a little bit, this pulls the defender to the right, when he's pulled to the right he cuts the ball crosswise to the left, towards the corner flag. The winger, of course, has to be wide open and the way in front of him is clear. Because, coming in from the corner flag, he doesn't usually bump into people. If the centre-forward moves to the left, he cuts across to the right. But, I say, one thing is the most important: disrupt the full-backs, even if the ball is not there. Demonstrate presence in front of them...
The conversation, or rather the performance, is over. What the result will be — is a big question mark. In any case, it would be nice to see Caligaris — kicking the air.
Isaque Argolo: Meazza eventually ended up not playing the match.
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