Paolo Maldini, Roberto Baggio, Dino Zoff, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti, Gigi Riva or Paolo Rossi. Surely, that these names sound like emblems of Italian football. But, What if I tell them Silvio Piola? Well many, especially, the youngest will not even know how to relate it to the world of football. Big mistake and a real shame, well this man is, definitely, the highest scorer that Italy has given in its history.
Born in Robbiano (Pavia) in 1913, Piola is, numbers in hand, the third highest scorer in the history of the Italian national team after Gigi Riva and Giuseppe Meazza. He is also the top scorer in the history of Serie A, with 274 goals, 49 more than the second and with 537 Serie A matches, the fourth player with the most matches in that competition. further, the only one capable of scoring six goals in a Scudetto match.
But apart from it, is the World Cup striker won in 1938, the man who made Benito Mussolini's intentions to demonstrate transalpine superiority on a pitch happy, and the author of the two goals in the final against Hungary of that world championship prior to World War II.
A genius with the ball at his feet, with an extraordinary ability to see door with both legs, speed, uncheck and with a special gift: score goals with your back to the goal. Yes, even if you don't believe it, Silvio Piola, He is the inventor of the Chilean. Those who saw him say what happened in 1938, year when he decided to solve some embarrassing situations with the defender stuck in the most unlikely way: throwing in the opposite direction to the rival goal disorienting the defenders.
30 goals in 34 meetings with the Italian national team, it was this that gave him the glory (and it could have given more had the great military conflict not existed), but also its many clubs. El Pro Vercelli, in which it debuted in 1929 and where it was five years, and Lazio, the one who had the best of his career in nine impressive goal-filled seasons (143 in 227 matches), Torino, Juventus or el Novara, set to which many thought he went to retire with 34 years in 1947, and who delighted with many of his best performances, and obviously goals. Because if something was Silvio Piola, it was goal, “Silviogol”.
Novara knew how to recognize it, well today, his stadium bears his name in his honor. Nice tribute to one of the most important strikers in football history. A man who did not want prominence or divisms, a man who loved to go watch soccer like one more fan.