Sunday, January 15, 2017

When Calcio Ruled the Football World-A Personal Journey-Part 12 (1993/94)

In the summer of 1993, just like the previous years, AC Milan were the premier club on the planet and were the jewel in the crown of the greatest League in the world of club Football.
However, there were a number of indications that questioned whether they would remain as spectacular as before.
For starters this was to be the first season that they would compete (for the first time in six years) without their Dutch trio of Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten. The trio had been integral in writing some of the best pages of Milan’s history and had made their names forever linked with the successes of the Silvio Berlusconi era.
Frank Rijkaard had departed to his formative club of Ajax Amsterdam to see out the remainder of his career (despite efforts by Fabio Capello to retain him).
Ruud Gullit had been fed up with a peripheral role and yearned for a starting spot. He was offloaded Sampdoria without much regret (as he was perceived to be on a declining stage of his career).

Photo From: World Soccer, November 1993
(Ruud Gullit at Sampdoria)

Gullit’s Milan teammate, the Italian Alberigo Evani also joined him at Sampdoria. He was also in dire need of regular first class Football to have a chance of retaining a spot on the Italian National Team.
It has been said that due to his services rendered to Milan, Berlusconi showed an affectionate side of himself in handling Evani’s transfer.
First he made certain that he would be receiving the same level salary as he was getting at Milan and then instead of asking for an exorbitant fee that he might be justified in asking, he merely asked for $125 for a transfer fee.
The Third Dutchman, Marco van Basten was still on board. However, he was on the injured list and expected to be unavailable for months (but as it later turned out, it was the end of his career).
Another setback for Milan’s pre-season’s plans was the automobile accident of midfielder and World’s most expensive player, Gianluigi Lentini. In the early morning hours of August 3rd, his car accident injured him severely and he would also be out for months in the minimum.
Milan still had retained to its other foreigners such as French striker Jean-Pierre Papin, Yugoslav midfielder Dejan Savicevic and Croatian midfielder Zvonimir Boban.
The new arrivals included former Cagliari goalkeeper Mario Ielpo. He would be yet another in long lines of goalkeepers that would be signed to offer competition to Sebastiano Rossi, but would not be able to dislodge him (many would follow still).
From Genoa, Christian Panucci arrived as the heir apparent to Mauro Tassoti, while Alessandro Orlando joined from Udinese.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 60, January 1994
(AC Milan defender Christian Panucci)

Danish Midfielder Brian Laudrup arrived on loan from relegated Fiorentina, as did Romanian striker Florin Raducioui from Brescia.
Young Brazilian striker Giovane Elber also returned from his two-season loan at Grasshoppers Zurich (However, he would wisely return to Grasshoppers before the start of the season).
Rufo Emiliano Verga, Angelo Carbone and Christian Lantignotti also returned from their loan stints at Venezia, Napoli and Cesena respectively.

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1993
(AC Milan Manager Fabio Capello with AC Milan’s new signings)


At first glance, the additions did not appear enough to cover the losses. However, many observers believed Milan had still enough quality to retain their crown.
As far as the rest of the League, in contrast to the previous summer where spending had been in abundance (especially on foreign players), this season’s Calciomercato would be more low profile and not as extravagant.
When the previous summer, 34 new foreigners had joined the League. This time around it was only 7 as financial austerity was practiced the offset the previous year’s spending and some financial scandals along the way had not helped.
It was even reported that AC Milan had declined to sign Napoli’s in-demand Uruguayan striker Daniel Fonseca because his transfer fee was deemed too high.
At Juventus, the Agnellis felt large expenditures on players would be unwarranted given the Financial state of affairs (especially at FIAT).
Internazionale Milano, under the veteran Manager Osvaldo Bagnoli, appeared to be Milan’s greatest challengers.
They had finished the previous season very strongly with Uruguay striker Ruben Sosa in impressive form.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 63, April 1994
(Ruben Sosa, November 28, 1993, Internazionale Milano 2-Juventus 2)

They had also signed the most sought after player that all of Europe’s elite wanted to capture. Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp had joined from Ajax Amsterdam along with his clubmate Wim Jonk.

Photo From: World Soccer, December 1993
(Dutchmen Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk at Internazionale Milano)

Along with Sosa, the Nerazzuri still had Russian midfielder Igor Shalimov and also the Macedonian striker Darko Pancev. Just a few seasons earlier, Pancev himself was one of the most sought after players in Europe, but now he was a peripheral figure desperately needing to get away (and/or offloaded).
Inter also welcomed Brescia’s Massimo Paganin, who joined his brother Antonio in defense.
Defender Gianluca Festa arrived from Cagliari (though he would loaned to AS Roma for the second half of the season).
Udinese midfielder Francesco Dell’Anno came on board to strengthen the midfield.
Juventus, under Giovanni Trapattoni, made minor changes to their squad from last season that appeared to be gelling only in the latter stages of the season.
English midfielder David Platt, just like Gullit, joined Sampdoria for more first team action.
Likewise, Paolo Di Canio was loaned to Napoli for more playing time.
Defensive reinforcements came in the shape of Sergio Porrini (ex-Atalanta) and Andrea Fortunato (ex-Genoa) to add to a block that contained the likes of Brazil’s Julio Cesar, the German Jurgen Kohler, Massimo Carrera and Moreno Torricelli.
Little known Croatian midfielder Zoran Ban arrived from Rijeka (but had an insignificant season).
Juventus made a double signing from Padova that did not appear critical at the time, but would be significant for ‘La Vecchia Signora’s future.
Midfielder Angelo Di Livio and teenage forward Alessandro Del Piero would go on and have brilliant careers with ‘La Juve’.
Di Livio, who would be dubbed ‘Soldatino’ (the Little soldier) would be the epitome of the hard working midfielder who does the heavy lifting and lets the stars shine. His impact would be greater that season than that of Del Piero who was still finding his way in the Serie A but still showing promise when called upon.


Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 982 (Number 6), February 9-15, 1994
(Juventus’ Angelo Di Livio)

The previous year, Sergio Cragnotti had gone on a spending spree to elevate Lazio with the big boys. This year he would make more key signings to make Lazio perennial contenders.
In the summer, the ambitious Laziali made attempts to acquire Olympique Marseille’s Croatian striker Alen Boksic. However, OM would not sell him before the following summer (to be continued..)
As a result, Pierluigi Casiraghi was signed from Juventus to strengthen the attack (Germans striker Karl-Heinz Riedle had been sold to Borussia Dortmund).
Italy’s Number Two Goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani was signed from Torino (Defender Angelo Gregucci went in the opposite direction).
Goalkeeper Valerio Fiorri was sold to Cagliari, while Giovanni Stroppa was also offloaded to Foggia.
A then little-known Italian midfielder plying his trade at Switzerland, Roberto Di Matteo was signed from Aarau.

Photo From: 1993-94 Calciatori Panini
(Lazio’s Roberto Di Matteo)

Defender Paolo Negro was signed from Brescia, while Fabrizio Di Mauro arrived on loan from relegated Fiorentina.
The signing of Di Mauro was strange considering he was a former AS Roma player.
Their Roman neighbors AS Roma made few personnel changes. Udinese’s Argentinean striker Abel Balbo’s arrival was their most most significant acquisition (Andrea Carnevalle going in the opposite direction).

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1993
(Abel Balbo at AS Roma)

The most notable change at Roma was on the bench; Vujadin Boskov’s place was now occupied by veteran Manager Carlo Mazzone, who had just qualified Cagliari to the UEFA Cup.

Photo From: 90 minutes, April 2, 1994
(AS Roma Manager Carlo Mazzone)

This was also the first season that Parma were regarded as one of the contenders from the start.
They had offloaded their Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel (to newly promoted Reggiana) and signed Italian goalkeeper Luca Bucci from the same club.
Nevio Scala’s side had made the significant double signing of Gianfranco Zola and Massimo Crippa from cash-strapped Napoli.
The duo would go a long way to elevate Parma even higher. Zola’s inclusion would unfortunately hamper that of the rising star Alessandro Melli.
He would be the victim in the attacking trident of Colombian striker Faustino Asprilla, Swedish forward Tomas Brolin and now Gianfranco Zola.
Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Sampdoria had offloaded the disappointing English defender Des Walker (to Sheffield Wednesday), prior to welcoming Gullit and Platt. They also transferred defender Marco Lanna to AS Roma (and registered from the Romans, the return of one of their formers Fausto Salsano).
Italian defender Marco Rossi also joined ‘La Samp’ from Brescia.

Photo From: World Soccer, September 1993
(English star David Platt at Sampdoria)

Cup Winners Torino also made changes to their personnel. In addition to goalkeeper Marchegianni, Belgian star Enzo Scifo (to AS Monaco), Brazil forward Walter Casagrande (to Flamengo) and Pasquale Bruno (to Fiorentina) were offloaded.
The new arrivals included Uruguay’s Enzo Francescolli (ex-Cagliari), goalkeeper Giovanni Galli (ex-Napoli), Croatia’s Robert Jarni (ex-Bari) and Marco Osio (ex-Parma).
Other notable transfers included veteran defender Luigi De Agostini leaving Inter to join newly promoted Reggiana, who also welcomed the return of Swedish striker (and ex-Empoli) Johnny Ekstroem. French midfielder Franck Sauzee left Olympique Marseille to join Atalanta, Panamanian striker Julio Cesar Dely Valdes joined Cagliari from Nacional Montevideo.


Photo From: Calcio Merlin 94
(Cagliari’s Julio Cesar Dely Valdes)

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 56, September 1993
(France’s Franck Sauzee at Atalanta)

Romanian defender Dan Petrescu left Foggia to join Genoa, as did Dutchman Marciano Vink (coming from Ajax).
A little known player named Massimiliano Allegri also left relegated Pescara and joined Cagliari.

Photo From: Calcio Merlin 94
(Cagliari’s Massimilano Allegri)

Interestingly newly promoted side Piacenza only fielded Italians and no foreign players.
On the bench, Gigi Radice whose dismissal at Fiorentina the previous season led to their freefall and demotion was appointed as the new Manager of Cagliari.
The Serie A that season would be devoid of Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta.
Despite Fiorentina’s relegation, he showed his loyalty to the club by staying, while his German teammate Stefan Effenberg who was desperate to leave was forced to remain.

On the horizon at the end of the season was the World Cup in USA and all attempts were being made to showcase the game in a land still foreign to the game with no professional League of its own.
In such a move, the Italian Super Coppa was held in the States. On August 21st, AC Milan defeated Torino (1-0) in Washington, DC’s RFK Stadium to kickoff the new season.
In the offseason another significant event had also taken place.  On July 1st, 1993, The Italian Federation had agreed the sale of a weekly match to Tele+2. The sole match per league day would be broadcast at nighttime, therefore, breaking the tradition of a simultaneous League programme.
While the first Matchdays of most seasons are rarely important, this particular Matchday 1 (August 29th, 1993) was important in two aspects.
Napoli’s home match vs. Sampdoria, immediately highlighted Ruud Gullit’s revival. His importance was felt as he scored on his club’s away victory and his impending rebirth was clear to see.
The other significant aspect of this day was Cagliari’s heavy defeat vs. Atalanta (2-5). In a surprising move, Gigi Radice was fired as Cagliari Manager after his very first match. He was replaced by Bruno Giorgio.
On Matchday 3 (September 8th), Inter’s season early suffered a setback when key midfielder Nicola Berti was severely injured in their match vs. Cremonese (2-1) and lost for six months.
As expected Milan took full leadership (9 points) as early as Matchday 5 (September 19th) after defeating AS Roma (2-0). They were followed closely by Parma, Sampdoria and Juventus.
Juventus’ victory over Reggiana (4-0) marked the debut goal of future club legend Alessandro Del Piero.
Parma’s Colombian striker Faustino Asprilla capped of his return to Serie A action with a hat trick over Torino (3-0). He had recently helped Colombia qualify for the World Cup and participated in their historic demolition of Argentina at Buenos Aires (5-0).

Photo From: 1993-94 Calciatori Panini
(Parma’s Faustino Asprilla) a’s David Platt, January 2, 1994, Lazio 1-Sampdoria 1)

On September 28th, former Commissario Tecnico Azeglio Vicini became the second coaching casualty of the season as Udinese fired him and replaced him with Adriano Fedele.
As early as Matchday 7 (October 3rd), Inter were starting to fall off the pace, after a scoreless tie with Napoli. Milan’s scoreless tie with Lazio still gave them the edge with their rivals (12 points). However, Sampdoria with Gullit in fine form showed their intent with an away (4-1) win at Atalanta and Juventus also came in contention after winning the Turin Derby (3-2).
Parma with Zola (twice) and Asprilla scoring continued its winning ways over Foggia (3-0).
On October 12th, French Club Olympique Marseille agreed to sell Alen Boksic to Lazio ahead of schedule to settle its debts following the OM/Valenciennes scandal. He would be fully integrated in the team by November.
On the following day, October 13th, Sampdoria President Paolo Mantovani died aged 63 from Heart problems. He was responsible for building the team that won the Scudetto in 1991.
The first big match of the season took place on Matchday 9 (October 24th), when AC Milan hosted Juventus. Juventus appeared to be headed for a win after taking the lead with a Roberto Baggio penalty kick, however, Milan earned a point through a Demetrio Albertini equalizer.
Fabio Capello was pleased and felt the fight back against a rival showed their character.
Milan’s dropped point allowed Parma to join them at the top (14 points) after they won (1-0) over Reggiana.
The following Matchday (10th, October 31st) would cast a shadow on Milan’s title winning potential.
Sampdoria hosted Milan for the big Matchup of the day. Milan lead (2-0) in the first half and seemed headed for a win. However, Sampdoria fought back and won (3-2) with the winning goal from Gullit.
Ruud Gullit proved a point to his former employers and in many ways made them regret his departure. Milan’s loss coupled win Juventus’ win over Genoa (4-0) that included a Roberto Baggio hat trick (2 pks) , allowed the Turin side to share the first spot with Sampdoria (15 points).
This joint leadership was short-lived as on the following Matchday (11th, November 7th), Parma defeated Juventus (2-0) and Sampdoria lost at home to Cagliari (1-2).
Parma joined Milan at the top (16 points) after the Rossoneri were victorious in the Milan derby (2-1).
On November 10th, struggling Lecce sacked Nedo Sonetti as Manager.
On the same day, Gianluigi Lentini made his first appearance for Milan following his accident over the summer. He came on the 88th minute in Milan’s Coppa Italia home tie with Piacenza (1-1).
The November Transfer window brought new arrivals.  Olympique Marseille’s precarious situation (fallout from the OM/Valenciennes scandal) had forced them to sell off Alen Boksic (Lazio), Marcel Desailly (AC Milan) and Paulo Futre (Reggiana).

Photo From: 90 minutes, March 19, 1994
(Alen Boksic, November 21, 1993, Lazio 1-Torino 2)

In addition, Udinese registered the arrival of Poland’s Dariusz Adamczuk (from Dundee) and the Danish Thomas Helveg (from OB Odense).
Udinese did however lose Argentinean Roberto Sensini to Parma, who wouldgo on to have a brilliant career with the club. Hungarian star Lajos Detari also joined Genoa on loan from Serie B’s Ancona.
On Matchday 12 (November 21st), the newly arrived Portugal star Paulo Futre scored in Reggiana’s (2-0) win over Cremonese. However moments later, he suffered a horrendous injury that not only ruled him out of the season but also most of the next. In fact it could be said he never fully recovered from this injury.

Photo From: World Soccer, January 1994
(Portuguese star Paulo Futre at Reggiana)

The Serie A leadership became a three way race on Matchday 13 (November 28th) when Sampdoria joined Parma and Milan at the top (19 points) after winning (3-1) over Cremonese.
Parma and Milan’s top of the table clash ended scoreless. For Milan, Frenchman Marcel Desailly made his debut that day to great effect.


Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 63, April 1994
(Gianfranco Zola and Alessandro Costacurta, November 28, 1993, Parma 0-AC Milan 0)

Photo From: 90 minutes, April 2, 1994
(Roberto Donadoni and Gianfranco Zola, November 28, 1993, Parma 0-AC Milan 0)

Photo From: World Soccer, April 1994
(Marcel Desailly’s debut for AC Milan, November 28, 1993, Parma 0-AC Milan 0)

Juventus and especially Inter fell behind further after drawing one another (2-2) at San Siro.
The following week (Matchday 14, December 5th), AC Milan took full leadership (21 points) once more after defeating Torino (1-0) and Parma losing at Roma (0-2).
In December, Milan had a crisis of sorts concerning Dejan Savicevic. First he refused a place on the bench in a Champions League match and then threw a tantrum when he was not selected for Milan’s Intercontinental Cup match vs. Sao Paulo (as the season wore on Savicevic would make himself indispensable).

Photo From: World Soccer, January 1994
(AC Milan’s Dejan Savicevic)


As for Juventus, Roberto Baggio had been in excellent form in the calendar year and was finally displaying the form for which Juventus had paid a then record fee in 1990.
He would be rewarded with France Football’s Ballon d’Or award. He was the first Italian to win the award since Paolo Rossi in 1982.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 60, January 1994
(Roberto Baggio, November 28, 1993, Internazionale Milano 2-Juventus 2)

The first half of the League programme (Matchday 17, January 2, 1994) took place in the New Year.
Milan consolidated its position at the top (26 points) by winning at Reggiana (1-0) with Desailly scoring his first for the club.
Juventus with new Ballon d’Or Roberto Baggio and Sampdoria’s Gullit were joint closest pursuers (23 points).

Photo From: France Football, Issue 2495, February 1, 1994
(Roberto Baggio receiving the Ballon d’Or from François de Montvalon, January 30, 1994, Juventus 2-Foggia 0)

Inter’s loss at home vs. Atalanta (1-2) effectively ended their season and any title aspirations.
Dennis Bergkamp had failed to adapt to the Serie A and the team was unable to line up convincing performances.
His Serie A experience was being compared to the likes of Ian Rush, Alexander Zavarov and Enzo Scifo himself (while at Inter).
All genuine stars who flopped in the demanding Serie A.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 64, May 1994
(Dutch star Dennis Bergkamp at Internazionale Milano)

While Inter had been fading, Lazio had slowly been moving higher in the table and getting closer to the chasing pack.
On Matchday 20 (January 23rd), Milan would open up its lead over the chasing duo of Juventus and Sampdoria to four points (30 points v. 26 points), after the latter’s tied one another at Marassi (1-1), while Milan defeated Piacenza (2-0).
For Juventus, striker Fabrizio Ravanelli had earned an unexpected extended run in the side as Gianluca Vialli was out injured. He would go on to score many key goals in Juventus’ quest and line himself up as a Juventus striker for the near future.
For Milan, French striker Jean-Pierre Papin would score his fifth goal of the season and the last one for the Rossoneri.
He would endure a poor second half of the season and be out of the side. By the crucial stage of the season, Papin, along with Brian Laudrup and Raducioui appeared to be unable to adapt to Capello’s tactics.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 58, November 1993
(French striker Jean-Pierre Papin at AC Milan)

In contrast, newcomer French midfielder Marcel Desailly with surprising ease and likewise Zvonimir Boban and Dejan Savicevic earned regular starting positions to become Fabio Capello’s set foreign trio.

Photo From: 1993-94 Calciatori Panini
(AC Milan’s Zvonimir Boban) 

Milan’s veterna Italian striker Daniele Massaro had an Indian Summer and went on a scoring spree of crucial goals for Milan and against all odds even earned a recall for the National Team for the World Cup.



Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 982 (Number 6), February 9-15, 1994
(Gianluca Festa and Daniele Massaro, February 6, 1994, AS Roma 0-AC Milan 2)

Photo From: 90 minutes, April 2, 1994
(AC Milan striker Daniele Massaro)

Matchday 22 (February 6th) signaled the end of the road for Inter Manager Osvaldo Bagnoli. The home loss vs. Lazio (1-2) was the last straw and he was replaced with in-house choice of former midfielder Giampiero Marini.
In addition to Bagnoli, Francesco Guidolin (Atalanata) and Claudio Maselli (Genoa) would also be sacked during the season.




Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 982 (Number 6), February 9-15, 1994
(February 6, 1994, Internazionale Milano 1-Lazio 2)

Photo From: World Soccer, November 1993
(Internazionale Milano Manager Osvaldo Bagnoli)

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo, Issue 983 (Number 7), February 16-22, 1994
(New Inter Manager Giampiero Marini)

Many felt the title race was effectively decided on Matchday 24 (February 20th). Milan’s win at Lazio (1-0) with yet another crucial goal by Massaro, gave the Rossoneri a six-point lead (38 vs. 32) over Juventus and Sampdoria.
On the following Matchday 25 (February 27th), Milan goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi broke Dino Zoff’s 1972/73 record of not conceding goals by keeping a clean sheet for 929 minutes (A span of eleven matches).
He was finally scored upon by Foggia’s Igor Kolivanov in Milan’s (2-1) win.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 64, May 1994
(AC Milan goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi)

If there were any slim doubts, Milan’s impending triumph was confirmed on Matchday 26 (March 6th), when they defeated Juventus at Turin (1-0) with a goal by Stefano Eranio to effectively eliminate Juventus from the title race and set themselves up for a triumphant run.
Milan’s lead was still six points over Sampdoria (42 v. 36).
The following week (Matchday 27, March 13), Milan took on nearest challengers Sampdoria and once again won by the slimmest of margins through another Daniele Massaro strike and extended their lead over the Genova side by eight points (44 v. 36).
On Matchday 28 (March 20th), they extended their lead to nine points (46 v. 37), after winning (2-1) in the Milan derby.
Inter’s free-fall had continued since Bagnoli’s removal and Marini was unable to steady the ship. (On March 28th, Inter would announce the appointment of Ottavio Bianchi for the following season).
Another significant result that day was Juventus’ win over Parma (4-0). Alessandro Del Piero scored his first hat trick that day. Parma Manager Nevio Scala was so impressed by Del Piero that he nearly acquired the youngster for Parma in the offseason. His transfer was only annulled after Juventus sold Dino Baggio to the Parmesan.
On Matchday 29 (March 27th), AC Milan lost only for the second time in the season by losing at Napoli (1-0) with a wonderful closed angle strike by Paolo Di Canio. Milan could afford to drop points with such a massive lead and had set their sights to advance in the Champions League as well.
Inter’s home loss (1-3) at Genoa was insignificant in terms of the League, however, it marked Salvatore Schillaci’s last goal in the Serie A.
He would soon be on his way to the Japanese League in April after signing for Jubilo Iwata.

Photo From: Calcio Merlin 94
(Internazionale Milano’s Salvatore Schillaci)

During the season, the ambitious AC Milan boss had entered the world of politics by forming his own Political Party ‘Forza Italia’.
On the Italian General Elections on March 27th,  his ‘Forza Italia’ were victorious and Berlusconi would be sworn in as Prime Minister in May 1994.
He would remain as AC Milan boss despite his new position.

Photo From: World Soccer, May 1994
(AC Milan President and new Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi)

Back to the League, on April 7th, during training, Lazio’s English star Paul Gascoigne would be lost for the season and effectively for most of the next season. His leg was broken in a tackle by a then youth player named Alessandro Nesta.

Photo From: World Soccer, March 1994
(Lazio’s Paul Gascoigne and Sampdoria’s David Platt, January 2, 1994, Lazio 1-Sampdoria 1)

On Matchday 32 (April 17th), AC Milan clinched the Scudetto (Third in a row) after a home tie (2-2) with Udinese.
They had 49 points and Juventus with its impressive win over Lazio (with a hat trick from the newly fit Gianluca Vialli) had 44 points with two matches remaining.
No team since the Great Torino side of the 1940s had managed as many consecutive titles.
The final rounds of matches was played on May 1st, where an uninterested Milan side lost at home to Reggiana (1-0) to finish off the season with 50 points with Juventus three points behind at 47.

Photo From: World Soccer, June 1994
(AC Milan squad, April 17, 1994, AC Milan 2-Udinese 2)

Lazio, Sampdoria and Parma rounded off the top five with Inter finishing in a disappointing 13th place just above relegation zone.
Inter saved off their season only by the virtue of winning the UEFA Cup.
Sampdoria ended a satisfactory campaign by winning the Coppa Italia in a two-legged Final over Ancona (0-0 on April 6th, 6-1 win on April 20th).
Lazio’s Giuseppe Signori was the Top Goalscorer for the second year running with 23 goals. Piacenza, Udinese, Atalanta and Lecce were relegated.


Photo From: World Soccer, July 1994
(Top Goalscorer, Lazio’s Giuseppe Signori)

Milan capped off a magnificent season by triumphing in the Champions League by defeating Johann Cruyff’s Barcelona (4-0).
This particular Milan was different than previous incarnations. Without the Dutchmen, the spectacular high scoring machine was now a lower scoring and gritty defensive machine that was even harder to break down.
AC Milan scored 36 goals and conceded only 15 goals all season. No League winning squad had ever scored nor conceded so few goals.
Milan seemed as strong as ever as Capello had settled on a regular squad of players adaptable to his tactics.

Photo From: World Soccer, January 1994
(AC Milan Manager Fabio Capello)

At the end of thes season, they even got better news when Berlusconi decided to re-sign and welcome back Gullit to the fold.
A strong team appeared to be now even stronger for the next season.
Gullit’s magnificent season had been rewarded with a return to the top with his former employers essentially admitting their error (a rarity in top class Football).
Changes were in store for the next season, as the League voted on and had decided a win would be awarded three points to attract even more attacking play.
There were as always many departures from the Serie A. Sampdoria’s Slovenian veteran Srecko Katanec retired in the coming months.
German midfielder Thomas Haessler left AS Roma and four seasons in the Serie A to return to the Bundesliga and Karlsruhe.
Belgian defender Georges Grun left Parma to return home to Anderlecht.
Roberto Galia left Juventus after six seasons and joined Ascoli in the Serie B.
Dino Baggio would be sold to Parma as Juventus, with former star Roberto Bettega now as a Director (appointed in January), were ushering in a new era that no longer included Giampiero Boniperti as an executive.
Juventus’ foreign duo of Brazilian Julio Cesar and the German Andreas Moeller were jointly sold to Borussia Dortmund.
Long-serving Legendary Manager Giovanni Trapattoni was also on his way out. He was to be the new Manager of Bayern Munich to be joined with Jean-Pierre Papin who left AC Milan after two somewhat disappointing seasons.

Photo From: World Soccer, June 1994
(Juventus Manager Giovanni Trapattoni)

Ciro Ferrara ended his association with his formative club Napoli to start a new cycle at Juventus.
At Inter, long serving duo of goalkeeper Walter Zenga and Riccardo Ferri were offloaded as makeweights in Inter’s attempt to bring in Italy’s Number One Gianluca Pagliuca.
Marco van Basten’s future was still in limbo with some holding out hope for the following season (that came to naught).
The summer ended in disappointment in Pasadena, as the Squadra Azzuri lost in the Final of the World Cup on a penalty kick shoot-out vs. Brazil.
But as always, the focus immeditaley shifted to upcoming Serie A season.
As far as that, the status quo still remained, until proof to the contrary, the ‘Rossoneri’ were still the team to beat, but a Managerial Appointment at Juventus was about to alter History (1994/95 season, to be continued…..)

1 comment:

  1. i always try to ask myself why your knowledge is so massive. thanks Master!

    ReplyDelete