Italian football legend and one of the finest striking talents of all time, Roberto Boninsegna, celebrates his 70th birthday today.
‘Bonimba’ terrorised opposition defences during his heyday in the sixties and seventies, making a profound impact both at club and international level. His ability saw him coveted by many top sides across the globe, with Juventus swooping to secure his services in exchange for Pietro Anastasi in 1976.
It proved to be a masterstroke of genius by club president Giampiero Boniperti, who presented his 32-year-old capture to Giovanni Trapattoni, then still a young coach learning his trade.
Boninsegna settled in instantly, forming a fearsome strike partnership with Roberto Bettega which provided the driving force behind a historic Scudetto and UEFA Cup double in the 1976/77 season. He ended the season on 21 goals in all competitions.
Whilst perhaps never able to recapture the heights of his debut campaign, the Mantua-born talent remained a threat for his remaining two years in the black and white stripes, contributing 13 strikes in the 1977/78 term as the Bianconeri clinched their 18th Scudetto title.
His final act was also a memorable one, lifting the Coppa Italia in 1978/79 to sign off his Juventus career with the enviable record of silverware success in each of his three years.
All associated with Juventus Football Club would like to wish ‘Bonimba’ a very happy birthday.