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Gaetano Scirea

Personal information
Full nameGaetano Scirea
Date of birth25 May 1953
Place of birthCernusco s. N., Italy
Date of death3 September 1989(age 36)
Place of deathBabsk, Poland
Playing positionSweeper

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Gaetano Scirea (25 May 1953 3 September 1989) was an Italian football player who is considered one of the greatest defenders of all-time.

Scirea is one of only five players in European football history to have won all international trophies for football clubs recognized by UEFA and FIFA. Scirea is also one of only nine players in the history of the European football that won all three major UEFA football competitions. He played for the Italian national team for more than a decade during which he was irreplaceable as the leading defender, keeping Franco Baresi out of the national team for four years until he retired in 1986. Scirea became a World Champion with the 1982 FIFA World Cup winning team, which defeated Brazil 3 2 in a brilliantly played quarter-final match, and dominated Germany 3 1 in the final.

Scirea was a graceful defender of great skill and tactical ability. In contrast to the ruthless tactics often employed by other defenders, most notably his paired partner, Claudio Gentile, Scirea was renowned for his class, fair play and sportsmanship. Scirea never earned a red card in his career.

He played the sweeper, or libero, role for most of his career, and contributed to the development of this position initiated by Franz Beckenbauer in the 1970s. Thus, Scirea would detach himself from the defensive line and contribute to the attacking potential of his team, frequently being involved in the build-up of goals, and sometimes even scoring himself. In the latter part of his career, Scirea played a more defensive central-defender role, which he excelled at just the same.

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