18 June 2021
This is the news we never wanted to give you.
Today, 18 June 2021, we bid farewell to Giampiero Boniperti, who passed away in Turin at the age of 92.
This emotion we are all feeling right now will not prevent us from thinking fondly of him, for everything our President was and will always be in Juventus' life.
An indelible figure, who, as of today, is handed over to memory, despite being in the history books of football for some time. Because when you express a thought, and that thought becomes part of Club's DNA you have dedicated your life to, it means that your character has become its identity and way of being. Forever.
AN IMMENSE LEGEND
Giampiero Boniperti, was a champion who helped make Juventus fans forget the war: "with his kindness and the class he displayed in hand, and together with which he participated in giving back rays of hope for the future after the war", wrote Hurrà Juventus in 1966. Boniperti had a football curriculum that everyone knows of. Even children.
One day in the spring of 1946, at the age of 18, Boniperti left Barengo (where he was born in 1928) to go to Turin. He was a football pioneer, a romantic and carefree.
"He was thrilled by the Bianconeri colours and wanted to become a Juventus player,” reported his first profile in the Bianconeri magazine. Almost a year later, at the beginning of March 1947, Boniperti made his First Team debut against Milan, in a campaign that Juve finished in second place behind an impregnable Torino. The following year, Vittorio Pozzo handed him the Azzurri jersey in Vienna against Austria, where he initially distinguished himself as a world-class right winger, then centrally alongside Muccinelli in the Rimet Cup (1950) – a position he took up also at Juve in the 1950s. Those were the years of the three names: Boniperti, Charles, Sivori. Three icons, with any other comment being superfluous.
He scored a brace in the legendary Wembley match between England and the Rest of Europe (and the only Italian-based player alongside Nordahl, Vukas, Kubala, Zebec), Boniperti was a thoroughbred centre-forward with a powerful shot.
He became top scorer in Serie A in 1947/48, barely 20 years old, with 27 goals scored. It was the prelude to his first of five Scudetti in the black and white jersey.
He was a very refined player, yet deadly. There was an agreement on everything between Boniperti and the ball. Once he confessed: "When I was younger, the goalmouth was always wide for me and the goals came in one after the other. I shot and it was a goal. As I became an adult as a player, therefore more complete, the goalmouth got narrower. Obviously, it depended on the fact that I wanted to score a powerful goal, with the ball that starts and cannot be seen anymore.”
He preferred to be the inspirer and regulator of the game, the basic element, the pivot of a whole device, the lever that set the mechanism in motion. He freed the game from personal matters. And so it would also be in the future, when he returned to Juventus as manager.
He wrapped up his career in 1961, as an Italian Champion, with 179 goals. He was 33, and he hung up his boots with a simple ceremony: "Guys, I'll stop." The inflexible temperament of an extroverted gentleman on the pitch.
PRESIDENT OF A EUROPEAN JUVE
In July 1971, a second Boniperti era began for Juve: after that as a player, he commenced a new era, with him at the helm of the club, this time as President. B for Boniperti, B for big. With him at the helm, Juve became a world renowned great in Europe and globally. Scudetti were won, yes, but above all, so were the Continental and Intercontinental Cups. In total, 16 pieces of silverware were raised aloft to make Juve the only team to have won all UEFA competitions.
A smiling, prudent and reserved manager, he was “the creator of a collective on and off the field, made up of professionalism, without divas. It was a Juve of hard work and sacrifice,” described Hurrà Juventus. Juve’s simplicity was made in the likeness of its President. A Juve that didn't just mean youth, but became once and for all synonymous with victory.
In recent years, he has always been close to his Lady. Perhaps the most touching moment of the Stadium’s inauguration was precisely when, on September 8, 2011, he headed towards a bench in the center of the field, alongside another Juventus legend, Del Piero, the only player who was able to score more than him.
On that occasion, he chose to tell us about his first meeting with Juventus. Excited himself, he excited us all.
"My life at Juventus", he said. “Began on June 4, 1946, and after 65 years I am here to hug you all, send you my best wishes and bring back to the players the phrase written on a banner a short time ago. Winning is not important, but it is the only thing that matters.”
From up there, now, there is another star in the black and white firmament that shines: it is that of Giampiero Boniperti, one of who gave the most to Juventus.
Thanks for everything. Rest in peace, Presidentissimo.