Nerazzurri legend Mazzola turns 70

MILAN
– 565, 158, 70. Sandro Mazzola‘s numbers. 565 times on the pitch with
Inter, 158 goals, 70 years old today. An intense life, an
incredible story.

The son of the great Valentino Mazzola, who
perished with Il Grande Torino in the Superga tragedy, Sandro made
history with La Grande Inter before becoming a club director
and finally making a new career for himself as a TV pundit. He overcame the blow fate dealt him as a child and an adolescence
spent with the pressure of having to follow in the footsteps of his
father’s success, before playing his part in the
unforgettable triumphs of the legendary team coached by Helenio
Herrera. A team where everyone maintained their own personality while
channelling it towards the good of the group. A football lesson from
the sixties that we can still learn from today.

He
was nicknamed ‘Il Baffo’ (Moustache) after a bet he made with his
team-mates in the 1964/65 season in the hope they would win the Scudetto.
And they did, the second of the Angelo Moratti era. So the whiskers
appeared before the European Cup final against Benfica. Which they then
also won. It was a different age: no shocking dyed hair, no tattoos.
Mazzola’s tache was perhaps the first ever seen on a football pitch, though he made a concession for Gigi Meroni: there was mutual respect
between the two and they never did decide who was the first to
parade a pair of whiskers on the field.

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