Riccardo's smile, with damp eyes were on display as he tightened the blue cotton of that historic shirt. Given to him 42 years after his father wore it on a warm Spanish evening, the fabric tells a distant story. There is only one star on the chest and the 6 on the back is made from a single strip of straight fabric, expertly folded and sewn in such a way as to form the number. The number of Gaetano Scirea.
42 years later, Scirea's shirt returns home
That is the jersey of the 1977 UEFA Cup final: it was May 18th, Riccardo would have been born just a month later. Scirea would raise our first international trophy, cementing a place in his and Juve's history. That match ended 2-1 for the Basques, but the 1-0 win two weeks earlier in Turin was enough to win the trophy. The second Spanish goal was scored by Carlos Ruiz Herrero, who was the last player from Bilbao to win the top scorer title. After the match he did not think for a moment: he went straight to Scirea and exchanged his number 16 shirt with him.
"Because he was different from the others and could be seen anywhere on the field," Herrero says after taking a plane to come to Turin to bring the relic back home.
He didn't think for a moment when he learned that an exhibition had been set up at the Juventus Museum to remember Gaetano 30 years after his death. So he and Riccardo met and exchanged those two shirts again, preserved for 42 years with almost sacred care and respect by the ladies Ana and Mariella.
Now, the Atletico Bilbao shirt will return to Spain with Ruiz, the 6 of Scirea will remain at the museum. It will be exhibited in the showcase dedicated to Juventus in the 1970s, right in front of the Gai exhibition: and when you see it, be sure that you will experience the same infectious emotion that Riccardo felt in tightening it.