It is 19 years to the day since Antonio Fortunato passed away after a long battle with leukemia. A player who will always remain in the hearts of the Bianconeri faithful, he would have celebrated his 43rd birthday today.
Famed for his desire to aid in attack as well as performing his usual defensive duties, Fortunato’s impressive performances for Genoa and Pisa in the early 1990s caught the eye of legendary Juventus manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who swooped to recruit the youngster’s services in 1993.
The Salerno-born left-back was held in such high regard upon his arrival in Turin that he received the famous number three black and white jersey previously worn by Juventus legend Antonio Cabrini.
26 July is also a day that Juventus.com commemorates the careers of two other players to don the iconic black and white jersey. One of Fortunato’s team-mates, Angelo Di Livio (who also turns 48 today), played a prominent role in a six-year spell at the club, winning nine trophies in the process.
Going further back in time, Umberto Caligaris was part of the Quinquennio side of the early 1930s who won five consecutive Scudetto titles. The World Cup winner was another player taken away from the Old Lady far too early, dying aged 39 in 1940.
Juventus wishes Angelo many happy returns on his special day whilst rightly remembering the lives of Andrea and Umberto, two greats who will forever be associated with the Bianconeri family.