The date is Sunday 2 March 1947 and as Juventus prepare to face Milan at Turin’s Stadio Comunale, something very special is about to happen to the future of the club.
70 years with Giampiero Boniperti
For, featuring on the team sheet for the first time was a 19 year-old by the name of Giampiero Boniperti. The Bianconeri would go on to lose on the day but victory would forever be associated with the name of the youngster from that afternoon onwards for the half-century that ensued.
Boniperti established himself the following season, scoring 27 times on the way to winning the Serie A golden boot.
Three years later, he was lifting the first of five Scudetto titles in 1950, lighting up the Italian game throughout the decade as part of one of the deadliest striking trios the peninsular has ever seen, lining up alongside John Charles and Omar Sivori.
The Novara-born winger cum centre forward would end his playing career in 1971 with 179 goals to his name, a club record that would stand for just under 40 years, claimed eventually by Alessandro Del Piero.
But that was just the beginning. Taking the reins of the club as president in 1981, nine further Italian championships and every single international honour going were added to the club’s trophy cabinet, with his famous mantra following him from the pitch to the boardroom.
He remained close to the club after his unforgettable association with the Old Lady, joining Del Piero on the pitch for an unforgettable Juventus Stadium inauguration on 8 September 2011 where he would remind the 40,000 Bianconeri supporters present that “Winning is not important, but it is the only thing that matters.”
With five consecutive Scudetto titles in the cabinet and 70 years on from his debut as a player, it is safe to say that Giampiero’s winning legacy burns brighter than ever before.
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