Nereo Rocco, the inventor of catenaccio

Nereo Rocco, the inventor of catenaccio

Jose Mourinho is now a fashion technician. At 50 years, on his resume include 7 Leagues in three four different countries, 4 Copas, 4 national Supercopas, 2 League Cups, 2 Champions and 1 UEFA Cup. That is to say, everything that you can win at club level except for the European Super Cup. Billed as a defensive coach, definitely, one of his greatest sources of inspiration is the protagonist of our post, Nereo Rocco, Or what is the same, the inventor of catenaccio.

Born in 1912 in Trieste, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Rocco is a key figure in Italian football, by providing a seal to most Italian clubs for many years: seal defend at any cost. And although few know that the catenaccio was born in Switzerland in the years 30 and not in Italy, was Rocco (Rock name was originally because his father was born in Vienna, but during the regime of Mussolini to the italianización of names and Rock he was forced Rocco became) which really he took it out on the football elite. And he did this season 46-47, when he was player-coach of Triestina.

Nereo Rocco era conocido como el "Patrón".
Nereo Rocco was known as the “Pattern”.

Shy, stingy, conservative, maybe bring his philosophy of life to the playing fields and in truth, the thing he was fantastically well. International only once with the Azzurri, one Triestina occupied the last places in Serie A this season 1946-47 with a cheerful game was radically transformed into a serious set, where players ordered systematically occupied the piece of land allocated and marked with great compunction rivals. Of course, was given the ball and expected rival in the half the right time to go to the counter. It was like this, as he managed to lead the squad Trieste to second place one year after taking the helm as after certain disagreements with club executives leave the first course in Treviso 1951, And Padova after AC Milan 1961.

Precisely, it would be in the Lombard set where would mark an era, both in its first stage (1961-63) and second (1967-73) or third (1976-77). Because it would get in the first when winning a Scudetto and European Cup at Wembley, beating Benfica of Eusebio. A wonderful cycle for “Pattern” I had a special gift: namely bringing together players for a target. And is that if something Rocco said was his tremendous personality, that made him especially with players through their dialect archiconocido triestino, which he was a strong reivindicador.

Almost nothing, Helenio Herrera and Rocco with its famous sombero debating before a game.
Almost nothing, Helenio Herrera and Rocco with its famous sombero debating before a game.

With that hat on many occasions endowing she accompanied him and his tremendous character acentúandole, either a second stage “Rossoneri” It would be to forget. Because after a pass through the Torino four years, It would be two more Serie A titles, a new European Cup and Cup Winners, plus a Intercontinetal Cup. Based on a team of gladiators and fighters, which he was not running and had only obeyed hollow, unless that was Gianni Rivera, weakness, except skipping the norm. And it is not in vain “Rivera was our Stalingrad” I used to say.

Unique and genuine, his playing career barely left its mark. 287 parties and 69 goals, mainly in the Triestina, but also in the Naples or Paldova. maybe, because his life was destined to bench, He left on bench 1977 raising a new Scudetto with AC Milan in its third and final stage. It was only two years before in 1979 We left because of cirrhosis.

Rocco's funeral was crowded.
Rocco's funeral was crowded.

Almost buried with honors head of state in Trieste, his legacy left us a new way to watch football, for many hated, for another valid as any other. What is clear is that without it, football would not equal.

Nereo Rocco has a stadium with his name in Trieste, a few kilometers from the border with Slovenia.
Nereo Rocco has a stadium with his name in Trieste, a few kilometers from the border with Slovenia.
Julio Muñoz

Julio Muñoz

Journalist, specialist in international football and retro. I write in Colgadosporelfutbol.com and you can follow me at @ juliomv1982

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