Today is a sad day for Juventus, Italian football and for all those who knew him. Pietro Anastasi has left us at the age of 71.
It was impossible not to love “Pietruzzu”, as he was affectionately known by the fans, because not only was he a Juventus player through and through, but he transmitted endless passion for the team of his heart. He was the one who, as a child used to be a ball-boy at Cibali in Catania, but who also famously asked to have a photo taken alongside his idol John Charles.
In 1968, his dream of wearing the black and white jersey came true. Pietro arrived in Turin on the back of a memorable season in Varese, and after having scored a historic goal for the Azzurri in the European final in Rome.
For eight extraordinary years, Pietro was a constant for Juventus, totaling 303 appearances and scoring 130 goals until his final game with the club in 1976. But the numbers and the attachment to the shirt only partially explain the fans’ love for Pietro.
His courage during games, his acrobatic goals, and his fighting spirit is what made him an idol, capable of unforgettable exploits, such as the three goals he scored against Lazio in the space of four minutes after having started the game on the bench. It was a love that the Municipal Stadium translated through the use of a banner, with the inscription: "Anastasi, the white Pelè.”.
Pietro's life was a true black and white novel, and in the 70’s, Hurra Juventus dedicated a number of narratives to him.
Juventus sends its heartfelt condolences to his wife Anna, their sons Silvano and Gianluca, and bids farewell to Pietro with a simple expression as big as he was: Thank you.